Wendy’s International, Inc. (NYSE: WEN) announced strong financial results for the year ended December 29, 2002. Highlights include:

  • Systemwide sales grew 12.7% to a record $9.4 billion, including $7.5 billion in systemwide sales for Wendy’s and $1.7 billion for Tim Hortons. Systemwide sales include sales of both company operated restaurants and franchised restaurants.
  • Total revenues increased 14.2% to a record $2.7 billion.

  • Same-store sales growth for the year was outstanding:
    – Wendy’s U.S.-Company: 4.7%
    – Wendy’s U.S.-Franchise: 7.1%
    – Tim Hortons Canada: 7.2%
    – Tim Hortons U.S.: 9.9%
    – Baja Fresh (system): 2.7%

  • Net income grew 13% to a record $219 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) increased 14.5% to $1.89.
  • The Company and its franchisees opened 586 new restaurants systemwide during the year, which met management’s goals. The openings consisted of 321 Wendy’s, 204 Tim Hortons and 61 Baja Fresh restaurants (40 Baja Fresh restaurants were opened since Wendy’s acquisition of the chain in June 2002).
  • The Company’s total systemwide restaurants reached an all-time high of 8,811, consisting of 6,253 Wendy’s, 2,348 Tim Hortons and 210 Baja Fresh restaurants.
  • Average unit sales at Wendy’s U.S. company restaurants reached an all-time high of $1.39 million. The system average, including franchised restaurants, rose to $1.28 million.
  • Wendy’s domestic operating margin increased 90 basis points in 2002 to 15.8% due to strong sales, manageable food and labor costs, and good controls at the restaurant level.
  • Average unit sales at Tim Hortons standard units in Canada reached an all-time high of $1.56 million (Canadian).
  • Average unit sales of $1.5 million at Baja Fresh continue to lead the fast casual, Fresh Mexican segment.
  • The Company continued to repurchase its common shares. For the year, the Company repurchased 1.6 million shares for $49.4 million. Since initiating its share repurchase program in 1998, the Company has bought a total of 34.8 million shares for $827.2 million. The Company has $223 million remaining on its current share repurchase authorization from the Board of Directors.
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