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DUBLIN, OH-Wendy’s International Inc., which operates chains under the names Tim Hortons, Wendy’s and Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, posted mixed preliminary same-store sales results for its third quarter ended Oct. 2.

The company’s Tim Hortons restaurant chain experienced a same-store increase of 3.6% to 3.7% at restaurants in Canada and 4.7% in the United States, compared to sales during the same period a year ago. Wendy’s same-store sales decreased 5% at US company stores and 5.5% to 5.7% at US franchised restaurants, compared to positive sales in the quarter a year ago. And following suit, Baja Fresh Mexican Grill’s system same-store sales declined 4.1%.

Chairman and CEO Jack Schuessler charged that record-high gasoline prices and lower consumer spending levels impacted sales, and store closings from hurricanes Katrina and Rita impacted Wendy’s restaurants during the period. “We are not pleased with our Wendy’s and Baja Fresh sales trends, and everyone in the organization is focused on improving results,” Schuessler said in a statement.

As a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Wendy’s lost 2,676 full store days through the end of the third quarter, as well as a number of partial store days. As of Oct. 2, 26 company and 21 franchised Wendy’s in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas had not reopened. The company predicts that the storms will cut third-quarter earnings by 2 cents per share.

Schuessler said the company is specifically working to improve the Wendy’s brand by selling real estate assets, closing underperforming stores and re-franchising specific company-owned stores. Also helping to improve the Wendy’s brand, the company recently made management and personnel changes, including the addition of Robert Whittington, who will serve as the brand’s chief information officer.

In other news, the company announced that is also continues to work on the Tim Hortons’ brand IPO, which is scheduled for March 2006.

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