10/11/2013 12:51 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

A&W posts improved profit of $6.5M in Q3; same-store sales rise 0.08%

VANCOUVER - A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund (TSX:AW.UN) posted a year-over-year increase in third-quarter net profit as same-store sales improved.

The fast food chain said Friday that profits improved to almost $6.5 million in the 12 weeks ended Sept. 8, up from $4.2 million in the comparable year-earlier period.

Total sales reported by restaurants in the royalty pool were $211.1 million in the quarter, up 4.4 per cent from $202.1 million in the third quarter of 2012.

Royalty income, which the fund earns on sales at the restaurants in the pool, was $6.3 million, up from $6 million.

The number of stores in the royalty pool totalled 760 in the latest quarter, up from 737 a year earlier, while same-store sales improved 0.8 per cent versus a 0.2 per cent decline in the same period a year ago.

"After a soft first quarter, which was impacted by difficult weather, the last two quarters have shown steadily improving performance," said Paul Hollands, president and CEO of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.

A&W's strategy includes accelerating the pace of growth of new restaurants, with 23 having been added across the country in the first three quarters — 14 of them in Ontario and Quebec, which the company described as "important growth markets for A&W."