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Olive Garden parent Darden quarterly sales beat Wall Street

A man talks on his mobile phone in front of the Times Square Olive Garden in New York, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Keith Bedford
A man talks on his mobile phone in front of the Times Square Olive Garden in New York, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

(Reuters) - Darden Restaurants Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly sales, helped by aggressive promotions and an expanded menu at its Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains.

Sales rose 11 percent to $2.29 billion in the fourth quarter, topping analysts' expectation of $2.27 billion.

Overall same-restaurant sales rose 2.2 percent.

Net income for the ended May 26, fell to $133.2 million, or $1.01 per share, from $151.2 million, or $1.15 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected the company to earn $1.03 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Darden said it would increase its quarterly dividend by 10 percent to 55 cents per share.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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