Restaurant operating and franchising group Wendy's International yesterday [Thursday] announced preliminary sales results for the month of February (fiscal month ends on 3 March).

Same-store sales increased:

3.75% to 4.25% at Wendy's® US company restaurants.
7.5% to 8% at Tim Hortons® restaurants in Canada.
10% to 10.5% at Tim Hortons restaurants in the US.

Chairman and CEO Jack Schuessler commented: "We produced outstanding sales results in January and February. Both of our brands have excellent momentum and we are optimistic about the remainder of the year.

"Customer traffic is trending positive at Wendy's, which is a great sign. In addition to our focus on restaurant operations, our system featured quality products and marketing. In January, our focus on the Super Value Menu(TM) resonated with customers as same-store sales grew 6.7% at Wendy's US company restaurants.

"In February we featured regional advertising. We promoted our Spicy Chicken sandwich in some markets and tested new promotional products in others. National television advertising for our new Wendy's Garden Sensations(TM) salads began last night.

"At Tim Hortons, our bread bowl promotion featuring chili and chicken stew continues to attract customers and reinforce our quality brand position," Schuessler added.

The company also announced today that it may resume the repurchase of its common shares, from time to time during 2002, in an amount up to US$25m. Wendy's has repurchased 33.1 million shares since 1998 for US$779m.