Wendy's reports strong third quarter


November 7, 2013

Dublin-based fast-food company Wendy's says it had strong third quarter, largely because of its recently launched Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger and ongoing rebranding efforts.

Although the company considerably narrowed its loss from last year’s third quarter, it still lost money in the latest quarter — $2.2 million, or zero cents a diluted share.

Omitting one-time charges for actions such as closing or rebuilding restaurants, as well as setting aside more money to pay income taxes, Wendy’s said it earned 8 cents a share in the recent quarter, compared to 2 cents last year.

Revenues grew less than 1 percent to $640.8 million from a year ago, though sales at stores open at least a year grew 3 percent, largely because of the introduction of its Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger in July.

Wendy’s continues to see sales and earnings increases from its aggressive store-renovation program and other rebranding efforts, said CEO Emil Brolick.

"We are contemporizing our consumer touch points and transforming our brand, with bold restaurant designs, new packaging and innovative menu introductions such as our Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger,” Brolick said in a statement.

Some recent steps in what Wendy’s is calling its “brand transformation” have been investments in worker training and operating efficiencies.

In July, Wendy’s said it would sell up to 425 of its almost 1,300 company-owned stores to franchisees who committed to help with the company’s renovation program. This move is beginning to generate fee and rental income for the company.

“The most recent iterations of our transformation, including people activation and system optimization, are reinforcing our commitment to deliver ‘A Cut Above’ brand experience and continually increase operating efficiency,” Brolick said.