The launch of a new sandwich line, the Frescata, and the cumulative impact of other marketing and operations initiatives enabled Wendy’s to post the first positive same-store sales month since January 2005.

U.S. system same-store sales increased 0.4 percent for the April 2006 reporting period, with company restaurants up 0.2 percent and franchise restaurants up 0.5 percent. Same-store sales declined 5.5 percent in April 2005, with company restaurants decreasing 5.8 percent and franchise restaurants declining 5.5 percent.

Wendy’s posted a five-point positive swing in same-store sales during the April 2006 reporting period compared to the first quarter of 2006. During the first quarter, same-store sales at company restaurants decreased 4.8 percent and 5.2 percent at franchise restaurants.

“These results are encouraging, but we fully understand that we’re just getting started. We are focused on building momentum, and we’re optimistic about the other initiatives in place to increase sales and customer traffic throughout the remainder of the year,” says Kerrii Anderson, Wendy’s interim chief executive officer and president. “We also continue to execute elements of Wendy’s Combo Plan, designed to reduce costs and return the company to a position of long-term, sustained growth.”

Prior to 2005, Wendy’s enjoyed 18 consecutive years of same-store sales growth. Full results for the second quarter will be announced on July 27.

Wendy’s also announced today that more than 20 million sandwiches have been served since the April launch of its Frescata line. “It is one of the strongest initial responses we’ve had for a new menu offering in recent years,” says Anderson.

The Frescata line includes Black Forest Ham & Swiss Cheese, Roasted Turkey with Basil Pesto, Roasted Turkey & Swiss Cheese and the Frescata Club. High-quality deli meats, fresh toppings and artisan bread–baked at the restaurant–separate the sandwich line from competitive offerings.

Wendy’s will is continue to execute a 25-market sampling campaign across the U.S. to promote Frescata and prompt consumer trial. This effort will culminate in early June.

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