Chipotle beats market expectations with key sales figure

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NEW YORK (AP) - Chipotle is reporting that a key sales figure rose above market expectations in the second quarter, helped by higher menu prices that offset a drop in the number of diners visiting.

The Denver-based burrito chain is trying to recover from a series of food scares that devastated its sales. Earlier this year, it hired former Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol as chief executive, then brought in another former Taco Bell executive, Chris Brandt, as chief marketing officer.

Chipotle said sales at established restaurants rose 3.3 percent. Analysts polled by FactSet forecast a 2.7 percent rise.

Net income fell 30 percent to $46.9 million, due partly to corporate restructuring costs. Earnings per share fell 28 percent to $1.68. Excluding those costs, net income rose 24 percent to $2.87 per share.

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