Wendy's Inks Folgers Coffee Deal In Breakfast Push

By Carolyn Pritchard

SAN FRANCISCO (Dow Jones) - Wendy's International Inc. on Friday said it has inked a deal with Procter & Gamble to sell a custom blend of Folger's coffee, part of the fast-food operator's push to expand its breakfast offerings.

The proprietary blend of Folgers Gourmet Selections coffee, Wendy's (WEN) said, will become a "centerpiece" of its new breakfast menu, which it expects to offer in between 20% and 30% of its North American restaurants by the end of the year.

The deal comes on the heels of expanded breakfast offerings, including coffee upgrades, at rivals McDonald's Corp. (MCD) and Burger King Holdings Inc. (BKC) .

Earlier in the year, Wendy's cited the expansion of its breakfast program as one of the moves underpinning its expectation for a boost in its profit his year and beyond. It forecast full-year per-share earnings of $1.17 to $1.23, with same-store sales rise 3% to 4% in 2007, vs. a less than 1% increase in 2006. Revenue for the period was projected to rise 5% to 6%.

Last month, however, Wendy's said it was exploring strategic options, including its possible sale. The Dublin, Ohio-based company completed its spinoff of Tim Hortons in the third quarter of 2006 and the sale of Baja Fresh Mexican Grill in the fourth quarter.

Shares of Wendy's were off 6 cents in late afternoon trading, at $39.05.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-18-07 1654ET

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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