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The Wendy's Company Reaffirms 2022 Outlook

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Company Postpones Investor Day

DUBLIN, Ohio, May 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) today reaffirmed its 2022 outlook.

Wendy's® was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas in Columbus, Ohio. Dave built his business on the premise, “Quality is our Recipe®,” which remains the guidepost of the Wendy’s system. Wendy’s is best known for its made-to-order square hamburgers, using fresh, never frozen beef*, freshly-prepared salads, and other signature items like chili, baked potatoes and the Frosty® dessert. The Wendy’s Company (Nasdaq: WEN) is committed to doing the right thing and making a positive difference in the lives of others. This is most visible through the Company’s support of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® and its signature Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® program, which seeks to find every child in the North American foster care system a loving, forever home. Today, Wendy’s and its franchisees employ hundreds of thousands of people across more than 6,700 restaurants worldwide with a vision of becoming the world’s most thriving and beloved restaurant brand. For details on franchising, connect with us at www.wendys.com/franchising. Visit www.wendys.com and www.squaredealblog.com for more information and connect with us on Twitter and Instagram using @wendys, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wendys.

*Fresh beef available in the contiguous U.S., Alaska, and Canada.
Wendy's® was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas in Columbus, Ohio. Dave built his business on the premise, “Quality is our Recipe®,” which remains the guidepost of the Wendy’s system. Wendy’s is best known for its made-to-order square hamburgers, using fresh, never frozen beef*, freshly-prepared salads, and other signature items like chili, baked potatoes and the Frosty® dessert. The Wendy’s Company (Nasdaq: WEN) is committed to doing the right thing and making a positive difference in the lives of others. This is most visible through the Company’s support of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® and its signature Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® program, which seeks to find every child in the North American foster care system a loving, forever home. Today, Wendy’s and its franchisees employ hundreds of thousands of people across more than 6,700 restaurants worldwide with a vision of becoming the world’s most thriving and beloved restaurant brand. For details on franchising, connect with us at www.wendys.com/franchising. Visit www.wendys.com and www.squaredealblog.com for more information and connect with us on Twitter and Instagram using @wendys, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wendys. *Fresh beef available in the contiguous U.S., Alaska, and Canada.

"As evidenced by our sales momentum, which accelerated on a 2-year basis in Q1 2022, we continue to make significant progress across our three long-term growth pillars: building our breakfast daypart, accelerating our digital business, and expanding our footprint across the globe," President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Penegor said. "We achieved a second consecutive quarter of double digit 2‐year global same‐restaurant sales, opened over 90 new restaurants, accelerated our global digital business to over 10% of total sales, and grew our morning meal dollar and traffic share in the QSR burger category."

During 2022, the Company continues to expect:

  • Global systemwide sales growth: 6 to 8 percent

  • Adjusted EBITDA: $490 to $505 million

  • Adjusted earnings per share: $0.82 to $0.86

  • Cash flows from operations: $305 to $325 million

  • Capital expenditures: $90 to $100 million

  • Free cash flow: $215 to $225 million

Penegor continued, "Our strong momentum, sound execution of our strategic initiatives and improvement in Company-operated restaurant margin as we exited the first quarter give us the confidence to reaffirm this full year 2022 outlook."

The Company has postponed its virtual Investor Day, previously planned for June 9, 2022, to a later date.

This release includes forward-looking projections for certain non-GAAP financial measures, including systemwide sales, adjusted EBITDA, adjusted earnings per share and free cash flow. The Company excludes certain expenses and benefits from adjusted EBITDA, adjusted earnings per share and free cash flow, such as the impact from our advertising funds, including the net change in the restricted operating assets and liabilities and any excess or deficit of advertising fund revenues over advertising fund expenses, impairment of long-lived assets, reorganization and realignment costs, system optimization gains, net, and the timing and resolution of certain tax matters. Due to the uncertainty and variability of the nature and amount of those expenses and benefits, the Company is unable without unreasonable effort to provide projections of net income, earnings per share or net cash provided by operating activities, or a reconciliation of those projected measures.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains certain statements that are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Reform Act"). Generally, forward-looking statements include the words "may," "believes," "plans," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "estimate," "goal," "upcoming," "outlook," "guidance" or the negation thereof, or similar expressions. In addition, all statements that address future operating, financial or business performance, strategies or initiatives, future efficiencies or savings, anticipated costs or charges, future capitalization, anticipated impacts of recent or pending investments or transactions and statements expressing general views about future results or brand health are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Reform Act. Forward-looking statements are based on the Company's expectations at the time such statements are made, speak only as of the dates they are made and are susceptible to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors. For all such forward-looking statements, the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Reform Act. The Company's actual results, performance and achievements may differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the Company's forward-looking statements.

Many important factors could affect the Company's future results and cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by the Company's forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) the disruption to the Company's business from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the impact of the pandemic on the Company's results of operations, financial condition and prospects; (2) the impact of competition or poor customer experiences at Wendy's restaurants; (3) adverse economic conditions or disruptions, including in regions with a high concentration of Wendy's restaurants; (4) changes in discretionary consumer spending and consumer tastes and preferences; (5) impacts to the Company's corporate reputation or the value and perception of the Company's brand; (6) the effectiveness of the Company's marketing and advertising programs and new product development; (7) the Company's ability to manage the accelerated impact of social media; (8) the Company's ability to protect its intellectual property; (9) food safety events or health concerns involving the Company's products; (10) the Company's ability to achieve its growth strategy through new restaurant development and its Image Activation program; (11) the Company's ability to effectively manage the acquisition and disposition of restaurants or successfully implement other strategic initiatives; (12) risks associated with leasing and owning significant amounts of real estate, including environmental matters; (13) the Company's ability to achieve and maintain market share in the breakfast daypart; (14) risks associated with the Company's international operations, including the ability to execute its international growth strategy; (15) changes in commodity and other operating costs; (16) shortages or interruptions in the supply or distribution of the Company's products and other risks associated with the Company's independent supply chain purchasing co-op; (17) the impact of increased labor costs or labor shortages; (18) the continued succession and retention of key personnel and the effectiveness of the Company's leadership structure; (19) risks associated with the Company's digital commerce strategy, platforms and technologies, including its ability to adapt to changes in industry trends and consumer preferences; (20) the Company's dependence on computer systems and information technology, including risks associated with the failure, misuse, interruption or breach of its systems or technology or other cyber incidents or deficiencies; (21) risks associated with the Company's securitized financing facility and other debt agreements, including compliance with operational and financial covenants, restrictions on its ability to raise additional capital, the impact of its overall debt levels and the Company's ability to generate sufficient cash flow to meet its debt service obligations and operate its business; (22) risks associated with the Company's capital allocation policy, including the amount and timing of equity and debt repurchases and dividend payments; (23) risks associated with complaints and litigation, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and an increased focus on environmental, social and governance issues; (24) risks associated with the availability and cost of insurance, changes in accounting standards, the recognition of impairment or other charges, the impact of reorganization and realignment initiatives, changes in tax rates or tax laws and fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; (25) conditions beyond the Company's control, such as adverse weather conditions, natural disasters, hostilities, social unrest, health epidemics or pandemics or other catastrophic events; (26) Trian Fund Management, L.P. and certain of its affiliates filed a Schedule 13D/A with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 24, 2022 indicating, among other things, that they intend to explore and evaluate the possibility of participating, alone or with third parties, in a potential transaction with respect to the Company to enhance stockholder value; there can be no assurance that (i) any such potential transaction will occur or result in additional value for the Company's stockholders or (ii) that the exploration of a potential transaction will not have an adverse impact on the Company's business; and (27) other risks and uncertainties cited in the Company's releases, public statements and/or filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those identified in the "Risk Factors" sections of the Company's Forms 10-K and 10-Q.

In addition to the factors described above, there are risks associated with the Company's predominantly franchised business model that could impact its results, performance and achievements. Such risks include the Company's ability to identify, attract and retain experienced and qualified franchisees, the Company's ability to effectively manage the transfer of restaurants between and among franchisees, the business and financial health of franchisees, the ability of franchisees to meet their royalty, advertising, development, reimaging and other commitments, participation by franchisees in brand strategies and the fact that franchisees are independent third parties that own, operate and are responsible for overseeing the operations of their restaurants. The Company's predominantly franchised business model may also impact the ability of the Wendy's system to effectively respond and adapt to market changes. Many of these risks have been or in the future may be heightened due to the business disruption and impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.

All future written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to the Company or any person acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to above. New risks and uncertainties arise from time to time, and factors that the Company currently deems immaterial may become material, and it is impossible for the Company to predict these events or how they may affect the Company.

The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements after the date of this release as a result of new information, future events or developments, except as required by federal securities laws, although the Company may do so from time to time. The Company does not endorse any projections regarding future performance that may be made by third parties.

Disclosure Regarding Non-GAAP Financial Measures
In addition to the financial measures presented in this release in accordance with U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"), the Company has included certain non-GAAP financial measures in this release, including adjusted EBITDA, adjusted earnings per share, free cash flow and systemwide sales.

The Company uses adjusted EBITDA, adjusted earnings per share and systemwide sales as internal measures of business operating performance and as performance measures for benchmarking against the Company's peers and competitors. Adjusted EBITDA and systemwide sales are also used by the Company in establishing performance goals for purposes of executive compensation. The Company believes its presentation of adjusted EBITDA, adjusted earnings per share and systemwide sales provides a meaningful perspective of the underlying operating performance of our current business and enables investors to better understand and evaluate our historical and prospective operating performance. The Company believes these non-GAAP financial measures are important supplemental measures of operating performance because they eliminate items that vary from period to period without correlation to our core operating performance and highlight trends in our business that may not otherwise be apparent when relying solely on GAAP financial measures. Due to the nature and/or size of the items being excluded, such items do not reflect future gains, losses, expenses or benefits and are not indicative of our future operating performance. The Company believes investors, analysts and other interested parties use adjusted EBITDA, adjusted earnings per share and systemwide sales in evaluating issuers, and the presentation of these measures facilitates a comparative assessment of the Company's operating performance in addition to the Company's performance based on GAAP results.

This release also includes disclosure regarding the Company's free cash flow. Free cash flow is a non-GAAP financial measure that is used by the Company as an internal measure of liquidity. Free cash flow is also used by the Company in establishing performance goals for purposes of executive compensation. The Company defines free cash flow as cash flows from operations minus (i) capital expenditures and (ii) the net change in the restricted operating assets and liabilities of the advertising funds and any excess/deficit of advertising funds revenue over advertising funds expense included in net income, as reported under GAAP. The impact of our advertising funds is excluded because the funds are used solely for advertising and are not available for the Company's working capital needs. The Company may also make additional adjustments for certain non-recurring or unusual items. The Company believes free cash flow is an important liquidity measure for investors and other interested persons because it communicates how much cash flow is available for working capital needs or to be used for repurchasing shares, paying dividends, repaying or refinancing debt, financing possible acquisitions or investments or other uses of cash.

Adjusted EBITDA, adjusted earnings per share, free cash flow and systemwide sales are not recognized terms under GAAP, and the Company's presentation of these non-GAAP financial measures does not replace the presentation of the Company's financial results in accordance with GAAP. Because all companies do not calculate adjusted EBITDA, adjusted earnings per share, free cash flow and systemwide sales (and similarly titled financial measures) in the same way, those measures as used by other companies may not be consistent with the way the Company calculates such measures. The non-GAAP financial measures included in this release should not be construed as substitutes for or better indicators of the Company's performance than the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures.

Key Business Measures
The Company tracks its results of operations and manages its business using certain key business measures, including same-restaurant sales, systemwide sales and Company-operated restaurant margin, which are measures commonly used in the quick-service restaurant industry that are important to understanding Company performance.

Same-restaurant sales and systemwide sales each include sales by both Company-operated and franchise restaurants. The Company reports same-restaurant sales for new restaurants after they have been open for 15 continuous months and for reimaged restaurants as soon as they reopen. Restaurants temporarily closed for more than one fiscal week are excluded from same-restaurant sales.

Franchise restaurant sales are reported by our franchisees and represent their revenues from sales at franchised Wendy's restaurants. Sales by franchise restaurants are not recorded as Company revenues and are not included in the Company's consolidated financial statements. However, the Company's royalty revenues are computed as percentages of sales made by Wendy's franchisees and, as a result, sales by franchisees have a direct effect on the Company's royalty revenues and profitability.

Same-restaurant sales and systemwide sales exclude sales from Venezuela and Argentina due to the highly inflationary economies of those countries.

The Company calculates same-restaurant sales and systemwide sales growth on a constant currency basis. Constant currency results exclude the impact of foreign currency translation and are derived by translating current year results at prior year average exchange rates. The Company believes excluding the impact of foreign currency translation provides better year over year comparability.

Company-operated restaurant margin is defined as sales from Company-operated restaurants less cost of sales divided by sales from Company-operated restaurants. Cost of sales includes food and paper, restaurant labor and occupancy, advertising and other operating costs.

About Wendy's
Wendy's® was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas in Columbus, Ohio. Dave built his business on the premise, "Quality is our Recipe®," which remains the guidepost of the Wendy's system. Wendy's is best known for its made-to-order square hamburgers, using fresh, never frozen beef*, freshly-prepared salads, and other signature items like chili, baked potatoes and the Frosty® dessert. The Wendy's Company (Nasdaq: WEN) is committed to doing the right thing and making a positive difference in the lives of others. This is most visible through the Company's support of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® and its signature Wendy's Wonderful Kids® program, which seeks to find a loving, forever home for every child waiting to be adopted from the North American foster care system. Today, Wendy's and its franchisees employ hundreds of thousands of people across approximately 7,000 restaurants worldwide with a vision of becoming the world's most thriving and beloved restaurant brand. For details on franchising, connect with us at www.wendys.com/franchising. Visit www.wendys.com and www.squaredealblog.com for more information and connect with us on Twitter and Instagram using @wendys, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wendys.

*Fresh beef available in the contiguous U.S., Alaska, and Canada.

Investor Contact:
Kelsey Freed
Director – Investor Relations
(614) 764-3345; kelsey.freed@wendys.com

Media Contact:
Heidi Schauer
Vice President – Communications, Public Affairs & Customer Care
(614) 764-3368; heidi.schauer@wendys.com

Cision
Cision

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SOURCE The Wendy’s Company