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Wendy's International, Inc. (NYSE: WEN) announced today that its strong same-store sales trends continued in September. For period 9 (ending September 29):
Same-store sales increased 5.4% at Wendy's® U.S. company restaurants, and are up 5.9% year-to-date. Same-store sales increased 5.1% at Tim Hortons® restaurants in Canada, and are up 7.7% year-to-date. Same-store sales increased 6.4% at Tim Hortons restaurants in the United States, and are up 10.9% year-to-date.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jack Schuessler said: "We're very pleased with our performance during the past month and for the year. Our company-operated Wendy's produced excellent sales growth in September and our franchisees' same-store sales were even stronger.
"Wendy's continues to produce robust results in a challenging competitive environment. And Tim Hortons continues to produce good results in both Canada and the U.S.," Schuessler said.
Wendy's national advertising during September focused on Crispy Chicken Nuggets and the 99 cents Super Value Menu™, which the brand has featured every day for 13 consecutive years.
"Wendy's is familiar and predictable to customers, which is a key competitive advantage," said Schuessler. "We continue to execute our long-term strategies and produce excellent results.”
Tim Hortons progress continues
Tim Hortons featured coffee and a bagel promotion during September. The chain's operators continue to focus on service initiatives.
Tim Hortons opened its par-baking facility in Brantford, Ontario, and is beginning to produce par-baked goods. The state-of-the-art plant is a joint venture between Tim Hortons and IAWS Group's Cuisine de France. The facility will be fully operational in 2003 and is expected to produce $5 million to $7 million in income during 2003 for Wendy's International, Inc.
Tim Hortons opened four restaurants in its newest U.S. market of Rochester, N.Y., during September. Tim Hortons also operates its new coffee roasting plant in Rochester.
"Our U.S. business is performing very well, and we had a very positive opening in Rochester with strong sales and consumer acceptance of the Tim Hortons brand. We are optimistic about our continued success in the U.S.," said Schuessler.
Company expects EPS growth of 15% to 18% in 2002
Management reiterated its 2002 EPS growth goal of $1.90 to $1.95, a 15% to 18% increase over $1.65 in 2001. The Company's long-term goal for annual EPS growth continues to be in the 12% to 15% range.
"Our September sales rebounded after we reported slightly lower than expected sales in August of 3.3%. Overall, we are confident about meeting our objectives for the rest of the year," said Chief Financial Officer Kerrii Anderson. "We are focused on controlling costs and managing our supply chain for further improvements."
"Although we have integration costs this quarter, the Company is making progress with its Baja Fresh business. As previously disclosed, the Company expects dilution in a range of $0.02 to $0.04 per share in the remainder of 2002 and in 2003. Baja Fresh is expected to have a positive impact on financial results beginning in 2004."
The Company recently began repurchasing its common shares in the open market.
"Over the past several weeks, the Company has repurchased 731,500 common shares for $24.7 million," Anderson said. "We believe our stock is a good value and we continue to proactively manage our balance sheet." From 1998 through the end of September 2002, the Company repurchased 33.9 million common shares for $803 million.