Olive Garden’s parent company topped fourth-quarter sales expectations, providing a ray of hope for the beleaguered casual dining sector.

Darden Restaurants, whose brands also include LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille, notched revenue gains for the quarter and the full fiscal year ended May 28.

The company’s sales from continuing operations rose 8.1% to $1.93 billion.

Sales at restaurants open at least a year rose 3.3%, beating S&P Global Market Intelligence expectations of 2.3%.

The performance reflected an…