Denny's Corporation (NASDAQ:DENN) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Feb 12, 2019 • 04:30 pm ET

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Denny's Corporation (NASDAQ:DENN) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day, and welcome to the Denny's Corporation Q4 and Fiscal Year 2018 Earnings Call. Today's conference is being recorded.

At this time, I'd like to turn the conference over to Curt Nichols, Senior Director, Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Executive
Curt Nichols

Thank you, Justin. Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us for Denny's Fourth Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. With me today from management are John Miller, Denny's President and Chief Executive Officer; and Mark Wolfinger, Denny's Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Please refer to our website at investor.dennys.com to find our fourth quarter earnings press release along with any reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures mentioned during this call. This call is being webcast and an archive of the webcast will be available on our website later today. John will begin today's call with his introductory comments. Mark will then provide a recap of our fourth quarter results along with brief commentary on our annual guidance for 2019. After that we'll open it up for questions.

Before we begin, let me remind you that in accordance with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, the company knows that certain matters to be discussed by members of management during this call may constitute forward-looking statements. Management urges caution in considering its current trends and any outlook on earnings provided during this call.

Such statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual performance of Denny's to be materially different from the performance indicated or implied by such statements. Such risks and factors are set forth in the Company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 27, 2017 and in any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.

With that, I'll now turn the call over to John Miller, Denny's President and Chief Executive Officer.

Executive
John C. Miller

Thank you, Curt. Good afternoon, everyone. Denny's achieved positive same-store sales growth for the eighth consecutive year and delivered a 4.1% increase in operating income, thanks to our team's unwavering commitment to our brand revitalization strategy. And I'm proud of our team for their continued focus on our vision of becoming the world's largest, most admired and beloved family of local restaurants, while consistently executing against our strategic pillars. And this is particularly relevant as we begin our previously announced transition to a more asset-light business model.

These pillars include first delivering a differentiated and relevant brand with the goal of perpetuating consistent same-store sales growth; second, operating great restaurants with consistent reliable service; third, expanding Denny's footprint throughout the US and international markets; and fourth, driving profitable growth with a disciplined focus on cost and capital allocation for the benefit of our franchisees, employees and shareholders. These pillars are supported by our continued investments in technology and training along with close collaboration with our franchisees.

We continue to evolve our menu to meet guest expectations for higher-quality and more craveable products. And our latest LTO menu