Tim Hortons income improves 4%

by Eric Schroeder
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OAKVILLE, ONT. — Tim Hortons Inc. posted net income of C$61,820,000 ($60,781,000), equal to C$0.33 per share on the common stock, in the first quarter ended March 30, up 4% from C$59,261,000, or C$0.31 per share, in the previous year’s first quarter. Net sales rose 8% to C$460,317,000 ($452,585,000).

Same-store sales grew 3.5% in Canada and 1% in the United States.

"Our strong promotional and menu programs during the quarter helped overcome the significant impact of unprecedented snowfalls in key markets, the introduction of a new statutory holiday in the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba, and the timing of Easter in 2008 compared to 2007," said Don Schroeder, president and chief executive officer. "Our first-quarter performance was below our full-year targets but we expected a challenging quarter and have continued confidence in our ability to meet our sales growth targets for the full year."

During the first quarter, Tim Hortons opened 25 restaurants, which compared with 21 opened during the first quarter a year earlier.

Tim Hortons said its U.S. business sustained a loss of C$2,879,000 in the first quarter, which compared with a loss of C$4,118,000 in the same period a year earlier. The company said the lower loss was driven by improved performance at its coffee roasting facility and the positive impact of foreign exchange translation. The company opened three restaurants in the United States during the first quarter.

In addition to announcing its financials, Tim Hortons unveiled changes within its executive management structure, effective May 1.

The new appointments are:

• Roland Walton, chief operations officer for Canada.

• David Clanachan, chief operations officer, United States and International.

• Bill Moir, chief brand and marketing officer, and president of the Tim Horton Children’s Foundation.

• Cynthia Devine, chief financial officer. Ms. Devine also will assume accountability for the company’s manufacturing operations and vertical integration strategy.

• Bruce Wallace, executive vice-president of supply chain.

• Brigid Pelino, senior vice-president of human resources.

"The new structure creates focused executive oversight for key company priorities, including a dedicated focus on our core Canadian business, our emerging businesses in the U.S. and internationally, as well as aligning menu innovation with our brand building activities and focusing manufacturing operations under one executive," Mr. Schroeder said.

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