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May 1, 2002

USA: Friendly Ice Cream Corp reports strong Q1

Wilbraham, Mass-based Friendly Ice Cream Corp has posted comparable restaurant revenues up 8.8% in its Q1 2002, ended 31 March. Foodservice and franchise revenues increased 48% and 36% respectively, compared to the prior year. For Q1 2002, the net loss was US$1.6m, compared to US$3.2m for the three months ended 1 April 2001.

Wilbraham, Mass-based Friendly Ice Cream Corp has posted comparable restaurant revenues up 8.8% in its Q1 2002, ended 31 March.

Foodservice and franchise revenues increased 48% and 36% respectively, compared to the prior year. For Q1 2002, the net loss was US$1.6m, compared to US$3.2m for the three months ended 1 April 2001.

Total Q1 revenues were US$131.5m, compared with US$125.7m for Q1 2001. The company’s strong revenue gains were offset by an US$11.9m reduction in restaurant revenues as a result of the strategic decision to close underperforming restaurants as well as to sell selected company restaurants to franchisees.

Chairman and CEO Donald N. Smith commented: “We are very pleased with the company’s performance in Q1 2002. As a result of our strategic and marketing initiatives and focus on guest satisfaction, comparable sales and operating results have continued to improve. In addition, the financial and corporate overhead restructurings from 2001 have had a positive impact on our performance.”

Corporate expenses in Q1 2002 decreased by US$1.7m, or 13%, year on year due to lower interest expense on reduced debt levels and overall reductions in overhead expenses.

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