WENDY'S REPORTS STRONG QUARTERLY SALES

Continues Acquisitions, New Campaign

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Although Wendy's International on Thursday reported a record $2.4 billion in quarterly systemwide sales.

The parent of Wendy's hamburger restaurants and Tim Horton's donut chain reported that net income rose 13.8% to $63 million for the quarter on strong sales and lower costs. Sales at Wendy's company-owned restaurants open one year grew 6.6%, while same-store sales at Tim Horton's grew 9.5% in Canada and 13.8% in the U.S.

Stock price falls
Executives said they

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were "discouraged by the recent performance in [Wendy's] stock price," but were optimistic their positive sales trends and growth strategies would soon be reflected in the price. Shares for the No. 3 chain today fell 25 cents to close at $36.57, but some analysts consider the value high compared to shares of Yum Brands, which closed at $28.50, and No. 1 McDonald's Corp., which closed at $21.85

"We had a very busy and productive performance," Wendy's Chairman-CEO Jack Schuessler said in the company's conference call.

Commemorating Dave
During the quarter, the chain rolled out its Garden Sensations salad line and new advertising for its Super Value Menu. More notably, in order to drive a "seamless transition" for its advertising following the death of founder Dave Thomas, Wendy's launched a new campaign centered on its hometown of Dublin, Ohio, that carried the tagline "It's better here." It also installed commemorative images of Dave in restaurants and incorporated the phrase "made Dave's way" in voice-overs for its broadcast commercials.

In June, the company also closed its acquisition of Baja Fresh Mexican Grills, its second investment to expand variety and sales. In February, the company acquired the upscale bistro chain Cafe Express.

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