A&W said net income in the three months ended Dec. 31 was $5.8 million, up from $5.6 million a year ago as royalty income improved 14.5 per cent to $9.6 million from $8.3 million in the comparable year-earlier period.
The higher royalty income was thanks to a 7.9 per cent improvement in same-store sales and an increase in the number of restaurants in the royalty pool to 790 from 760. Overall sales by stores in the pool increased to $318.4 million from $278.1 million.
Net income for the full year was just under $17 million, down from $21.6 million in 2013, due to non-cash losses on interest rate swaps, which the company said had no impact on the fund's ability to pay distributions to unitholders.
Full-year sales by stores in the royalty pool totalled $957.2 million, up from $856.4 million, while royalty income improved to $28.7 million from $25.7 million.