10/14/2014 06:28 EDT | Updated 12/14/2014 05:59 EST

A&W Royalties Income Fund posts $3.7M loss in Q3; cities non-cash hedging charges

VANCOUVER - A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund swung to a loss in the third quarter as non-cash charges on interest rate hedges drove it into the red despite an increase in royalty income amid a big jump in sales among restaurants in the royalty pool.

The company said its net loss for the three-month period ended Sept. 7 was $3.2 million, versus a year-ago net profit of $4.7 million when it enjoyed a $3-million gain on interest rate swaps versus a $3.3-million loss in the latest period.

The burger franchise (TSX:AW.UN) said it earned royalty income of $7.03 million in the quarter, up 11 per cent from $6.33 million in the same quarter last year.

Total sales reported by A&W restaurants in the royalty pool for the quarter were $234.4 million, compared with sales of $211.1 million in the year-earlier quarter.

Same-store sales, those among stores open for at least a year, were up 5.7 per cent, while the number of restaurants in the royalty pool increased to 790 from 760.

A&W announced last September that its Canadian outlets would no longer selling beef from cattle that received steroid or hormone injections in its burgers. The company also said it only sells eggs from hens fed a vegetarian diet and without any animal by-products.

"Our continued positive sales performance is a result of our ongoing strategy to respond to our guests' desire for simple, great tasting ingredients that have been farmed with care," said Paul Hollands, president and CEO of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.