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Wendy's International, Inc. (NYSE: WEN) announced January 13, 2000 that same-store sales at Wendy's U.S. company restaurants increased nearly 7% in December and about 6.5% in the fourth quarter, ended January 2, 2000. Same-store sales were also robust at Tim Hortons in Canada, increasing about 4% in December and about 7% in the quarter.
"Our fourth quarter sales performance at Wendy's and Tim Hortons was very strong, continuing the Company's outstanding results in the first three quarters," said Chief Financial Officer Frederick R. Reed. "We have excellent momentum in our core Wendy's North America and Tim Hortons Canada businesses as we begin 2000."
Wendy's domestic operating margins for the quarter improved versus a year ago due to the strong sales and store-level productivity gains. Restaurant development for 1999 totaled 482 new Wendy's and Tim Hortons units systemwide, consisting of 315 new Wendy's and 167 new Tim Hortons, up about 5% from the 460 total new units that were opened in 1998.
The Company expects to open a total of more than 520 new Wendy's and Tim Hortons units in 2000, which is about 7% new unit growth from a base of 7,344 total restaurants open systemwide at the end of 1999. Current inventory for new Wendy's unit openings is about 20% greater than a year ago. The fourth quarter sales and margin information is preliminary. More complete results for the quarter and 1999 will be announced on February 11. Company management plans to host a meeting and conference call with analysts and portfolio managers in New York on February 14. The meeting will be accessible to shareholders and investors as a web cast on the internet at www.wendys.com.
Wendy's International, Inc.is home to both the Wendy's and Tim Hortons brands.There are more than 5,500 Wendy's restaurants in the U.S., Canada and international markets. Tim Hortons has over 1,800 restaurants in North America.