Exhibit 99
Red Lobster Olive Garden LongHorn Steakhouse
The Capital Grille Bahama Breeze Seasons 52 Eddie V's
www.darden.com
 
NEWS/INFORMATION
 
Corporate Relations
 
P.O. Box 695011
 
Orlando, FL 32869-5011
FOR RELEASE
Contacts:
 
June 22, 2012
(Analysts) Matthew Stroud
(407) 245-6458
7:00 AM ET
(Media) Rich Jeffers
(407) 245-4189

DARDEN RESTAURANTS REPORTS A 15 PERCENT INCREASE IN FOURTH QUARTER DILUTED NET EARNINGS PER SHARE AND A 5 PERCENT INCREASE IN
FISCAL YEAR DILUTED NET EARNINGS PER SHARE;
INCREASES ITS QUARTERLY DIVIDEND 16 PERCENT

ORLANDO, FL, June 22 - Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) today reported diluted net earnings per share and sales for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended May 27, 2012.

Highlights for the quarter and fiscal year include the following:

Fourth quarter diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations were $1.15, a 15% increase from the $1.00 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of last year. Net earnings from continuing operations in this year's fourth quarter were $151.6 million, which compares to net earnings from continuing operations of $138.0 million in the fourth quarter last year.

Fourth quarter total sales from continuing operations were $2.07 billion, a 3.8% increase from the $1.99 billion in the fourth quarter of last year. The increase reflects same-restaurant sales growth of 2.7% for the Company's Specialty Restaurant Group, the addition of 11 Eddie V's restaurants and the operation of another 89 net new restaurants compared to the fourth quarter last year, offset by a combined same-restaurant sales decline of 1.9% for Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse. In the fourth quarter, U.S. same-restaurant sales increased 3.0% at LongHorn Steakhouse and declined 1.8% at Olive Garden and 3.9% at Red Lobster. An earlier Lenten season and Easter holiday this year adversely affected fourth quarter same-restaurant sales results at Red Lobster by 130 basis points and adversely affected the combined result for the quarter for Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse by 40 basis points.

Fiscal year 2012 diluted net earnings per share from continuing operations were $3.58, a 5% increase from last year's $3.41. Net earnings from continuing operations in fiscal 2012 were $476.5 million, which compares to net earnings from continuing operations of $478.7 million last year.

Fiscal year 2012 total sales from continuing operations were $8.00 billion, a 6.6% increase from the $7.50 billion last year. The increase reflects (1) combined same-restaurant sales growth of 1.8% for Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse; (2) same-restaurant sales growth of 4.6% for the Company's Specialty Restaurant Group; and (3) 4.7% of growth in sales for the year due to new restaurants, including the acquisition of 11 Eddie V's restaurants.


1

The following information was filed by Darden Restaurants Inc (DRI) on Friday, June 22, 2012 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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