May same-store sales declined at Wendy's ( WEN) U.S. restaurants, but the company said it still expects a 7% to 10% increase in 2003 profits.

The company attributed the decline in comparable sales to colder and rainier weather than last year.

In the month ended June 1, the company said U.S. same-store sales fell 2.2%, compared with a 7.1% increase in the same period last year. Wendy's said preliminary same-store sales at U.S. franchise restaurants fell 2.2% to 2.5%, compared with a 10.7% gain last year.

Shares of the company were down slightly in afternoon trading to $30.06.

Preliminary same-store sales at the company's Tim Horton's stores in Canada rose 4% to 4.2%. A year ago, they climbed 9.4%. In the U.S., same-store sales grew 2.4% to 2.6%, compared with a 12.7% increase a year ago, the company said.

Looking to all of 2003, the company expects to earn $2.02 to $2.08 a share. Analysts, on average, expect $2.03 a share. The company earned $1.89 a share in 2002.

Wendy's, based in Dublin, Ohio, said its earnings growth is expected to be heavily weighted toward the second half of the year because of easier sales comparisons, strong marketing initiatives and new product introductions.