June 2 (Reuters) - Bob Evans Farms Inc (BOBE.O), which operates restaurant chains and makes meat products, posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by lower food and labor costs at its restaurants.
The restaurants segment saw lower costs due mainly to new labor management systems and effective supply chain management, Chief Executive Steve Davis said in a statement.
Bob Evans, which runs restaurants under its namesake and Mimi's Cafe brands, earned $21.1 million, or 69 cents a share, compared with $16.1 million, or 52 cents a share, a year earlier.
For the fourth quarter ended April 24, net sales fell 1.2 percent to $431 million.
Analysts were expecting earnings of 38 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $430.8 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
Bob Evans, which competes with larger rivals such as Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI.N) and DineEquity Inc (DIN.N), said same-store sales fell 1.6 percent at Bob Evans Restaurants and 7.1 percent at Mimi's Cafe in the quarter.
Mimi's Cafe, the company's upscale restaurant chain, has been posting weak same-store sales over the past few quarters as cash-strapped consumers seek economical options such as eating at home.
For fiscal 2010, the company, which sells pork sausages and other packaged foods, expects net sales to rise 1.5 percent to 2 percent.
Shares of the Columbus, Ohio-based company were up 4 percent at $27.80 in trading after the bell. They closed at $26.80 Tuesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Amitha Rajan in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)