Wendy's releases new numbers for fourth quarter

by Ryan McCarthy
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Wendy's 4-for-$4 meal deal
Wendy's finished strong in 2015 and hopes to do the same in the first quarter of 2016.

DUBLIN, Ohio – Wendy’s Company reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales growth at established restaurants in North America. Tailwinds for company included expanded menu offerings, its “4 for $4 meal” and renovated restaurants which helped bring in more diners.

“Our strong 2015 results demonstrate the strength of our core business, as well as the positive impact of our transition to a predominantly franchised model, with royalties and rental income contributing a higher amount of earnings,” CEO Emil Brolick said.

 

Emil Brolick, Wendy's
Wendy's CEO Emil Brolick

According to the company’s earnings release, 22 percent of Wendy’s North American system restaurants were renovated by the end of 2015.

Some of the hard numbers released included same-store sales, which increased 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter in the North America system. Also, same-store sales increased 4.9 percent in North America franchise-operated restaurants.

Net income for the restaurant chain was at $85.9 million in the fourth quarter, or 31 cents per share, compared to $23.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Income from continuing operations was $88.7 million in the fourth quarter, up from $23.0 million the year before.

For the entire year, Wendy’s profit was $161.1 million in 2015 compared to $121.4 million in 2014.

The operating profit for the quarter hit $116.3 million compared to 10.2 percent in fourth quarter of 2014, an improvement of 1,480 basis points.

However, Wendy’s also posted revenue of $464.4 million in the fourth quarter. This was down from $487.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. 

Now Brolick and Wendy’s are looking forward to 2016 to hopefully expand the growth generated in the fourth quarter.  

“As we look to 2016, we expect the sequentially strengthening two-year annual same-restaurant sales trends we saw in 2015 to continue, with sales off to a strong start this year,” Brolick said. “With the success of our ‘high-low’ marketing messaging, which is driving both traffic and check growth, we are confident setting our 2016 same-restaurant sales growth target for the North America system at approximately 3 percent, which is at the high end of our previous range.”

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