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Feb 10, 2020

Tim Hortons' parent vows to 'refocus' as sales sink in Q4

'We need to get back to basics' at Tim Hortons: Restaurant Brands exec


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The chief executive officer of Restaurant Brands International Inc. isn't hiding from the challenges facing its Tim Hortons unit after sales fell sharply in the latest quarter.

"At Tim Hortons, our performance did not reflect the incredible power of our brand and it is clear that we have a large opportunity to refocus on our founding values and what has made us famous with our guests over the years, which will be the basis for our plan in 2020," said Restaurant Brands CEO Jose Cil in a release.  

The coffee-and-doughnut chain's same-store sales fell 4.3 per cent in the fourth quarter. And the eroding performance at stores open at least a year was even more substantial in Canada, with sales falling 4.6 per cent.

It was an otherwise impressive quarter for Restaurant Brands, with sales growth in its Burger King and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen units. The latter's performance was particularly notable as same-store sales surged 34.4 per cent on the back of what Cil called a "game-changer" chicken sandwich.

Overall, Restaurant Brands’ quarterly adjusted profit rose to US$0.75 per share from US$0.68 a year earlier. Analysts, on average, were expecting US$0.73 in adjusted earnings per share.

The company also announced its quarterly dividend will rise two cents to US$0.52 per share.