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Chipotle's online focus delivers same-store sales beat

Credit: REUTERS/SHANNON STAPLETON

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc's focus on online ordering and aggressive spending on advertising paid off as it brought in more customers and helped it beat same-store sales estimates.

Adds details from earnings release, share movement

July 23 (Reuters) - Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc's CMG.N focus on online ordering and aggressive spending on advertising paid off as it brought in more customers and helped it beat same-store sales estimates.

The company's shares, which have gained over 71% this year, rose 3.6% to $739.60 in extended trading as the burrito chain also provided a more upbeat 2019 same-store sales forecast.

Under Chief Executive Officer Brian Niccol, the company has highlighted fresh ingredients and added healthier menu items such as "Lifestyle Bowls" to entice new customers.

Sales at restaurants open for at least 13 months rose 10% in the second quarter ended June 30, net of deferrals from the company's loyalty program.

Analysts on average estimated an 8.3% increase, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Chipotle's online sales nearly doubled in the quarter, and accounted for 18.2% of revenue.

Revenue rose 13.2% to $1.43 billion, beating estimates of $1.41 billion.

Chipotle said it now expects 2019 same-restaurant sales to increase in the high-single digit percentage, up from a prior mid-to-high single digit range expectation.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Sriraj Kalluvila)

((UdaySampath.Kumar@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S.+1 646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 720 478 6795; Reuters Messaging: UdaySampath.Kumar.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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