A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund will hold a conference call to discuss
first quarter results on April 29, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time
(4:00 p.m. Eastern Time). The call can be accessed by dialing toll-free
1-800-591-7539 or (416) 644-3419. A replay will be available until May 13
2008, by dialing toll-free 1-877-289-8525 or (416) 640-1917 Passcode:
21270270, followed by the number sign.
TRADING SYMBOL: The Toronto Stock Exchange - AW.UN
VANCOUVER, April 29 /CNW/ - A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund (the Fund)
and A&W Trade Marks Inc. (Trade Marks) each reported today financial results
for the first quarter ended March 23, 2008. Same store sales, royalty income
and distributable cash all showed strong increases over the prior year.
Same store sales growth was 6.3% for the A&W restaurants in the Royalty
Pool during the first quarter of 2008 compared to the same quarter of 2007.
This strong growth was achieved despite very challenging winter weather
conditions in most of Canada and the shift in the timing of Easter which was
in Q2 in 2007 and in Q1 in 2008. Generally, the Easter weekend negatively
impacts sales in quick service restaurants. This marks A&W's 20th consecutive
quarter of same store sales growth.
Sales reported by A&W restaurants in the Royalty Pool increased by 8.1%
to $138,539,000 for the first quarter compared to the first quarter of 2007.
The increase in sales and corresponding increase in royalty income reflects
the same store sales growth plus the increase in the number of restaurants in
the Royalty Pool from 660 during 2007 compared to 676 during 2008.
As a result of the increase in royalty income, distributable cash
available to pay distributions to unitholders and dividends on Class A and B
preferred shares and common shares increased by 8.7% to $3,785,000 for the
quarter. Distributable cash per fully diluted unit and equivalents increased
from 25.9 cents for the first quarter in 2007 to 27.2 cents for the first
quarter of 2008. Monthly distributions of 10.6 cents per unit per month were
declared in the first quarter of 2008. The current monthly distribution rate
of 10.6 cents per unit translates into an annualized distribution of $1.272
per unit. In addition, a special distribution of 10 cents per unit was paid in
February 2008. A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. (Food Services) earned
dividends on its investment in Trade Marks at the same rate.
"We are pleased with the same store sales growth of 6.3%, especially
given the challenging market conditions in the quarter" said Paul Hollands,
President and Chief Executive Officer of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. "Our
key strategic initiatives to attract baby boomer customers continue to drive
strong results. Of special note, our new A&W Sirloin Burger offer during the
month of March was exceptionally popular. We are delighted with the response
by our customers."
The following table sets out selected financial highlights of the Fund
and Trade Marks.-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Period from Period from
(dollars in thousands except Jan 1, 2008 to Jan 1, 2007 to
per unit amounts) Mar 23, 2008 Mar 25, 2007
Same store sales growth 6.3% 3.6%
Number of restaurants in the Royalty Pool 676 660
Sales reported by the restaurants in the
Royalty Pool $138,539 $128,114
Royalty income $4,156 $3,843
General and administrative expenses $240 $251
Net third party interest expense $106 $111
Trade Marks' net earnings (loss) $56 ($145)
The Fund's net earnings $2,673 $1,973
The Fund's basic and diluted earnings
per unit (8,340,000 units) $0.321 $0.237
Total distributable cash generated for
distributions and dividends(1) $3,785 $3,481
Distributable cash per equivalent unit
(2008 - 13,924,371 units;
2007 - 13,473,911 units) $0.272 $0.259
Monthly distributions declared per unit
(8,340,000 units) $0.212 $0.200
Special distribution declared per unit
(8,340,000 units) $0.100 $0.080
(1) Distributable cash is not an earnings measure recognized by generally
accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") and therefore may not be
comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. This
information is provided as it identifies the amount of actual cash
available to pay distributions to unitholders and dividends to Food
Services.The Fund is a limited purpose trust established to invest in Trade Marks,
which owns the A&W trade-marks used in the A&W quick service restaurant
business in Canada. The A&W trade-marks comprise some of the best-known brand
names in the Canadian foodservice industry. In return for licensing Food
Services to use its trade-marks, Trade Marks receives royalties equal to 3% of
the sales of A&W restaurants in the Royalty Pool. Same store sales growth of
the A&W restaurants in the Royalty Pool is therefore the primary driver of
growth in the Fund's revenue.
The Royalty Pool is adjusted in January of each year (except in 2006 when
the Royalty Pool was adjusted on January 5, 2006 and December 31, 2006, and
2007 in which there was no adjustment) to include the royalty stream from new
restaurants, net of the sales of any A&W restaurants that have permanently
closed. Trade Marks pays Food Services for the additional royalty stream in
the form of common shares and Class B shares of Trade Marks which are the
economic equivalent of units of the Fund. Food Services currently owns 40% of
the common shares of Trade Marks, and therefore owns the equivalent of 40% of
the units of the Fund on a fully-diluted basis.
Trade Marks' dividends to Food Services and the Fund, and the Fund's
distributions to unitholders are based on top-line revenues of the A&W
restaurants in the Royalty Pool, less interest, general and administrative
expenses and current income taxes of Trade Marks, and are thereby isolated
from many of the factors that impact an operating business.
A copy of the full quarterly report will be available at www.sedar.com
and www.awincomefund.ca on or before May 2, 2008.
Certain statements in this report may be forward-looking in nature. These
include references to liquidity, subordinated dividends, earnings and
anticipated earnings from growth in same store sales and new restaurant
openings. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied
in these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are based
on assumptions that management considered reasonable at the time they were
prepared. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risk
factors, including the ability of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. to
implement its marketing strategies, the opening of new A&W restaurants,
general economic and business conditions, financial and political instability,
and other factors disclosed previously and from time to time in the Fund's
Additional information relating to the Fund is on SEDAR at www.sedar.com
and on the Fund's website at www.awincomefund.ca.