NEW YORK CITY-Hurt by higher costs and expenses, Arby’s US and Canadian franchisor Triarc Companies Inc. posted widening losses in the fourth quarter as costs associated with the company’s July 2005 acquisition of RTM Restaurant Group ate into the bottom line.

Triarc, which holds approximately 3,500 Arby’s restaurants, posted a net loss of $16.25 million or 21 cents per share for the quarter ending Jan. 1, 2006 compared to a net loss of $3.6 million or 6 cents per share in the same quarter of 2004. The wider quarterly losses were attributed to $329.64 million in relocation, restructuring and other charges associated with the RTM acquisition along other operating costs. In the prior year, quarterly losses were $102.03 million for the New York City-based firm.

Despite those losses, the acquisition of 775 restaurants from RTM boosted sales and revenue for the quarter, with revenue jumping to $305.56 million from $95.96 million the previous year and net sales increasing to $258.53 million from $53.88 million.

“There’s no question that 2005 was a defining year for Arby’s,” Peter May, Triarc’s president and chief operating officer said in a statement. “By joining our restaurant operations with RTM, we have created a large, fully integrated and growing restaurant company”For the year, consolidated revenues increased to $727.3 million from $328.6 million, due to both the RTM acquisition and increases in the asset management and related fees of Deerfield & Company LLC, which Triarc has owned a controlling interest in since July 2004. Costs and expenses for the year also increased, expanding to $759.41 million from $325.84 million in 2004.

Triarc said it is also continuing to explore a possible corporate restructuring that may involve the spin-off to Triarc’s stockholders of the firm’s interest in Deerfield.

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