Arby’s ’01 same-store sales grow 2.1%; Triarc considers potential acquisitions – Finance – Brief Article

Arby’s ’01 same-store sales grow 2.1%; Triarc considers potential acquisitions – Finance – Brief Article – Statistical Data Included

NEW YORK — Higher sales of core products and the success of the Arby’s Market Fresh sandwich line contributed to a 2.1-percent increase in domestic same-store sales at Arby’s for the fiscal 2001 period ended Dec. 30.

“We’ve maintained success in a weak economy through solid, adult-focused brand-positioning,” said Michael Howe, president and chief executive of Arby’s Inc. “Market Fresh continues to help us expand our customer base and attract new users.”

Triarc Cos. Inc., the brand’s franchisor, said the re-establishment of national advertising at Arby’s after a 15-year absence also helped bolster sales. Fourth-quarter comparable-store sales at Arby’s grew 3.9 percent.

Despite the shuttering of 99 stores, franchisees reported they opened a total of 131 units in 2001. In addition, the franchisees co-branded with 17 T.J. Cinnamons inside Arby’s units. As of Dec. 30, franchisees had commitments to open 616 Arby’s units over the next nine years.

Triarc, which reported it had about $685 million in cash and investments as of Dec. 30, said it would continue to evaluate options for the funds, including potential acquisitions, share repurchases and other investments.

“We strongly believe that our future success depends on being a very disciplined acquirer of businesses,” said Nelson Peltz, Triarc’s chairman and chief executive.

Triarc reported fiscal 2001 profits of $52.42 million, compared with profits of $441.24 million in 2000.

The fiscal 2000 period was bolstered from Triarc’s sale of Snapple Beverage Group to Cadbury Schweppes plc for a $480.9 million gain. Triarc classified Snapple as a discontinued operation in 2000.

Fiscal 2001 revenue increased 15 percent, to $136.78 million, from $119.41 million in 2000. Fourth-quarter earnings tallied $6.5 million, down from $430.56 million in the year-ago period. Fourth-quarter revenue grew 10 percent, to $30.69 million, from $27.78 million in the previous-year quarter.

Fully diluted 2001 earnings per share were $2.31, vs. $18.99 in 2000. In the fourth quarter BPS was 30 cents, vs. $19.31.

Triarc franchises more than 3,300 global restaurants under the Arby’s, T.J. Cinnamons and Pasta Connection brands.

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