Darden profit falls 35 pct

June 20 Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:25am EDT

June 20 (Reuters) - Darden Restaurants Inc's quarterly profit slid 35 percent as costs soared and sales at its flagship Olive Garden restaurant chain fell.

Shares of Darden, which is selling its struggling Red Lobster seafood restaurants in a $2.1 billion deal, were down 5 percent in premarket trading.

The Orlando-based company said net income fell to $86.5 million, or 65 cents per share in the fourth quarter ended May 25, from $133.2 million, or $1.01 per share, a year earlier.

Net sales rose 3.6 percent to $1.65 billion. (Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Shailaja Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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