OREANDA-NEWS. Denny’s Corporation (NASDAQ:DENN), franchisor and operator of one of America's largest franchised full-service restaurant chains, today reported preliminary results for domestic same-store sales and restaurant openings and closings for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 28, 2016.

Denny’s fourth quarter domestic system-wide same-store sales increased 0.5%, including a 0.6% increase at domestic franchised restaurants and a 0.1% increase at company restaurants.  Fiscal year domestic system-wide same-store sales grew 0.9%, including 0.8% growth at domestic franchised restaurants and 1.1% growth at company restaurants.  On a two-year basis, this represents 6.7% domestic system growth, comprised of 6.6% growth at domestic franchised restaurants and 7.6% growth at company restaurants. 

In 2016, Denny’s opened 50 restaurants, including 14 international locations, bringing the total restaurant count to 1,733.  This is the eighth consecutive year of positive net system growth for the brand.  In addition, 240 remodels were completed during fiscal year 2016, including 27 at company restaurants.

John Miller, Denny’s President and Chief Executive Officer stated, “We continued to successfully execute our brand revitalization strategy and delivered 23 net unit openings in 2016. This was our strongest year of unit expansion in the past five years. Our same store sales were not as strong as anticipated due to traffic pressure we experienced as we moved through the fourth quarter.  However, given the ongoing and pervasive challenges within the industry, we are pleased that our team’s efforts resulted in strong cash flow.”

Miller continued, “Moving forward, we recognize that the environment will most likely remain challenged for the foreseeable future and we are committed to delivering profitable system sales growth as the industry and consumer expectations evolve. At Denny’s, we are focused on further elevating the guest experience, consistently growing same-store sales, and expanding the brand across the globe, leading to value creation for all franchisees and shareholders.” 

Based on preliminary results, Denny’s is reiterating its full year 2016 guidance expectations for Adjusted EBITDA* of between $97 and $99 million and Free Cash Flow* of between $50 and $52 million provided with the Company’s third quarter 2016 results announced on November 1, 2016.  Denny’s expects to release financial and operating results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 28, 2016 along with annual guidance for 2017 after the market closes on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

 Preliminary Results  Quarter Ended
 Year Ended
Domestic Same-Store Sales    
System-Wide 0.5 % 0.9 %
Franchised 0.6 % 0.8 %
Company 0.1 % 1.1 %
Restaurants Opened**    
Franchised & Licensed 12   49  
Company 0   1  
Restaurants Closed**    
Franchised & Licensed 7   27  
Company 0   0  

*Please refer to the tables in the Third Quarter 2016 Earnings Release dated November 1, 2016 for non-GAAP financial reconciliations of net income to Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow.
**Excludes 10 franchised restaurants acquired by the Company and 6 company restaurants acquired by franchisees.

Upcoming Investor Conference Presentation

Denny’s will be participating in the 19th Annual ICR Conference taking place at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida.  Denny’s presentation will take place on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  Investors and interested parties may listen to a live audio webcast of the presentation which will be available online in the Investor Relations section of Denny's website at investor.dennys.com with a replay of the event webcast available following the live event.  Investors and interested parties may access a copy of the presentation in the Events and Presentations section of Denny's website at investor.dennys.com.

About Denny’s

Denny's Corporation is the franchisor and operator of one of America's largest franchised full-service restaurant chains, based on the number of restaurants.  As of December 28, 2016, Denny’s had 1,733 franchised, licensed, and company restaurants around the world with combined sales of $2.8 billion including 123 restaurants in Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico, New Zealand, Honduras, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Guam, the Philippines, Cura?ao, El Salvador, and Trinidad and Tobago.  For further information on Denny's, including news releases, links to SEC filings, and other financial information, please visit the Denny's investor relations website at investor.dennys.com.