02/12/2013 03:44 EST | Updated 04/14/2013 05:12 EDT

Fast foods franchisor A&W posts increases in Q4 sales, royalty income

VANCOUVER - A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund (TSX:AW.UN) says an increase in the number of restaurants was the primary reason for middle single-digit increases in royalty income and sales in the fourth quarter.

The Vancouver-based owner of the fast food industry's A&W trade marks says royalty income was $7.75 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, up about six per cent from $7.3 million in the prior-year period.

Total sales in the royalty pool increased by 5.7 per cent to $258.4 million from $244.6 million as the number of restaurants in the pool grew to 737 from 715.

For all of 2012, sales increased 3.6 per cent to $823.4 million from $794.5 million in 2011, while royalty income for the full year was $24.7 million, up from $23.8 million.

Same store sales growth in the fourth quarter was 0.5 per cent compared with the same quarter in 2011, but down 0.7 per cent compared with 2011 as a whole.

The A&W royalties fund owns the A&W trade-marks used by A&W fast-food restaurants. It earns, through a partnership, royalties equal to three per cent of the sales of restaurants in the royalty pool.