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An unaudited report for Wendy’s fourth quarter and full fiscal year of 2013 showed momentum in same-store sales, though refranchising efforts caused revenue to decrease.

For the Dec. 29-ended fourth quarter, the chain disclosed a preliminary range for net income between $25.2 million and $28.7 million, or 10 cents to 11 cents per share, compared with $26.4 million, or 9 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Revenue fell 6 percent to $592.4 million, compared with $629.9 million a year earlier, though same-store sales rose 3.1 percent at company-owned restaurants and 2.8 percent at franchised locations.

For the full year, Wendy’s projected net income between $37.6 million and $41.1 million, or 29 cents to 30 cents per share, compared with $7.1 million, or 17 cents per share, in fiscal 2012.

Full-year revenue dipped 0.7 percent to $2.487 billion, compared with $2.505 billion a year earlier. Full-year same-store sales increased 1.9 percent at company-owned locations and 1.7 percent at franchised units.

Brolick credited Wendy’s “high-low” menu strategy with driving positive results. New sandwiches on the premium end of the price spectrum like the Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger drove sales in the second half of the year, he said, while the Right Price Right Size value menu allowed the chain to bolster its value perceptions.

“We’re very fortunate to be in the position as a brand where we don’t fall into the trap of having to simply lower our price to create value,” Brolick said. “We create value in both our Right Price Right Size menu as well as through our premium products. Not every brand can do that because not every brand has those quality characteristics that we do.”

He added that Wendy’s “Now that’s better” advertising campaign with red-headed spokeswoman Morgan Smith was the longest-running and most successful marketing effort Wendy’s has had since 2002, when longtime spokesman and brand founder Dave Thomas died.

Wendy’s operates or franchises about 6,558 restaurants, including 400 locations outside North America.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN