Tim­mies grows Cana­dian sales amid bid to fix re­la­tion­ship with own­ers

Calgary Herald - - FP CALGARY - ALEK­SAN­DRA SAGAN

The par­ent firm of Tim Hor­tons saw sales growth at Cana­dian lo­ca­tions of the cof­fee-and-dough­nut chain as ex­ec­u­tives say their work to mend fraught fran­chisee re­la­tions is pay­ing off, though more work re­mains.

Restau­rant Brands In­ter­na­tional Inc. is pleased with the Cana­dian re­sults, said CEO Daniel Schwartz. Sales at Tim Hor­tons restau­rants in Canada open for 13 months or more, a key re­tail met­ric, in­creased 0.9 per cent in the quar­ter end­ing Septem­ber 30, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany ’s third-quar­ter earn­ings re­port. That’s up from 0.6 per cent in the same quar­ter the pre­vi­ous year and out­paces the sys­tem-wide growth of 0.6 per cent, which in­cludes restau­rants out­side of Canada, for the cur­rent quar­ter.

Ex­ec­u­tive changes, in­clud­ing hir­ing Dun­can Ful­ton as chief cor­po­rate of­fi­cer in July, and ini­tia­tives from the com­pany ’s “Win­ning To­gether” brand plan helped, said Schwartz.

He high­lighted the launch of all-day break­fast na­tion­wide in late July as adding in­cre­men­tal sales and prof­itabil­ity. The plan in­cludes ren­o­vat­ing restau­rants — a $700-mil­lion in­vest­ment that adds open-con­cept seat­ing. It will add a kids’ menu this quar­ter, he said.

It also plans to launch a loy­alty pro­gram na­tion­wide in the first half of 2019, said Tim Hor­tons pres­i­dent Alex Macedo. Self-ser­vice kiosks will start to roll out more broadly early next year, he said.

It has grap­pled with an un­sanc­tioned group of fran­chisees who formed the Great White North Fran­chisee As­so­ci­a­tion in a bid to rem­edy al­leged mis­man­age­ment of the brand.

Sales at RBI’s other two chains, Burger King and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, grew, lift­ing its third-quar­ter profit.

The Oakville, Ont.,-based com­pany’s profit at­trib­ut­able to share­hold­ers to­talled US$133.6 mil­lion or 53 cents per di­luted share, up from $91.4 mil­lion or 37 cents per di­luted share a year ago.

Daniel Schwartz

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