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DUBLIN, OH-Still undergoing a strategic review process, Wendy’s International’s plans for new prototypes and refranchising stores has been slowed, executives said at the company’s fourth-quarter conference call.

Two new exterior designs will be under construction in the next 30 days, but a completely new prototype is a while off. The company has prepared a small building design, a square design and is looking at drive-throughs.

“[Drive-throughs] continue to be an opportunity for us as we move forward, but we have not done a tremendous amount of work in terms of really driving an initiative towards an entirely new prototype building,” said Dave Near, COO. “That may be something that we look at towards the latter half of the year.”

The strategic review process, announced in April 2007, has taken longer than expected due to the turmoil in the stock markets, the company said last week. That delay is slowing the conversion of company-owned units to franchises as potential franchisees seek certainty.

“We continue to believe that refranchising a number of our restaurants and reducing the company stores is the right thing to do,” said Kerrii Anderson, CEO and president. “We had talked about refranchising up to 400 stores in 2008, but [now] we probably wouldn’t get more than half of those done, if we started tomorrow.”

For the quarter, revenues were $596.0, million down 0.1% from the previous year. Net income from continuing operations was $14.1 million, up 364.7% from the previous year. Same-store sales at U.S. franchise restaurants increased 0.2%, and declined 0.8% at U.S. company-operated restaurants.

For the year, worldwide revenues were $2.45 billion, up 0.4% from the previous year. Net income was $87.9 billion, down 6.8% from the previous year. Annual same-store sales at U.S. franchise restaurants increased 1.4%; annual same-store sales at U.S. company-operated restaurants increased 0.9%. During the year, the company opened 92 restaurants and closed 120 restaurants.

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