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Press release from CNW Group

A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund announces first quarter 2012 results

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund announces first quarter 2012 results12:22 EDT Tuesday, May 01, 2012TRADING SYMBOL:  The Toronto Stock Exchange - AW.UNSame store sales growth 0.4%Royalty income up 3.7%VANCOUVER, May 1, 2012 /CNW/ -A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund (the Fund) reported today results for the first quarter period from January 1, 2012 to March 25, 2012. The Fund will hold a conference call to discuss the results on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time (4:00 p.m. Eastern Time).  The call can be accessed by dialling toll-free 1-800-814-4860 or (416) 644-3415.  A replay will be available until May 15, 2012, by dialling toll-free 1-877-289-8525 or (416) 640-1917 Passcode: 4510772#.Same store sales growth for the first quarter of 2012 was 0.4% compared to the first quarter of 2011.  Total sales reported by restaurants in the Royalty Pool increased by 3.7% to $173.4 million compared to $167.2 million in 2011.  The increase in sales resulted from the increase in the number of restaurants in the Royalty Pool from 715 to 737 and the same store sales growth."The first quarter is generally one of the most challenging in the restaurant sector.  We are pleased to report another quarter of positive same store sales growth, building on nine straight years of same store sales growth, ," said Paul Hollands, President and CEO of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. (A&W Food Services).  "Our new "Burger Bliss" marketing campaign launched in the first quarter further reinforces and differentiates the strength of the A&W brand.  We also made significant progress in accelerating our rate of expansion in the first quarter, with the opening of five new restaurants across Canada."Royalty income for the quarter was $5,201,000, representing an increase of $184,000 or 3.7% compared to 2011.Distributable cash of $3,341,000 was generated in the first quarter of 2012.  Distributable cash per equivalent unit decreased by 2.8¢ to 25.6¢ in the first quarter of 2012 from 28.4¢ in the first quarter of 2011.  The cause of the lower distributable cash per equivalent unit was increased income taxes of 3.0¢ per unit. This was brought about by a change in partnership tax rules that altered the timing of the tax.  On an ongoing basis, this change to partnership tax rules is not expected to affect the Fund's ability to pay its planned annual distribution rate of $1.404 per unit.  Total distributions of 23.4¢ per unit were declared in the first quarter of 2012, the same as in the first quarter of 2011. The cumulative surplus of distributable cash at the end of the first quarter of 2012 was $2,127,000, compared to a cumulative surplus of $2,353,000 at the end of the first quarter of 2011.Financial Highlights  (dollars in thousands except per unit amounts)Period from Jan 1, 2012 to Mar 25, 2012Period fromJan 1, 2011 toMar 27, 2011Same store sales growth(1)0.4%-3.0%Number of restaurants in the Royalty Pool737715Sales reported by the restaurants in the Royalty Pool$173,369$167,226Royalty income$5,201$5,017General and administrative expenses283301Net third party interest expense697708Current income taxes880425Partnership distributions to Food Services          -2Total distributable cash generated for distributions and dividends(2)$3,341$3,581Distributable cashper equivalent unit (2012 - 13,041,278 units; 2011 - 12,588,605units) (2)(3) $0.256$0.284Distributions and dividends declared per equivalent unit$0.234$0.234The Fund's net income (loss)(4)$3,242$(1,531)(1)  Same store sales growth is not an earnings measure recognized by IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers.  This information is provided as it is a key driver of growth in the Fund.(2)  Distributable cash is not an earnings measure recognized by IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers.  This information is provided as it identifies the amount of actual cash available to pay distributions to unitholders and dividends to Food Services.(3)  The number of equivalent units and distributable cash per equivalent unit in 2012 includes the 90,535 LP units exchangeable for 181,070 common shares of Trade Marks representing the remaining 20% of the consideration for the January 5, 2012 adjustment to the Royalty Pool which is held back until December 2012 when the actual annual sales are reported by the new restaurants.  The number of equivalent units in  2011 includes the 86,873 LP units exchanged for 173,746 common shares of Trade Marks representing the final consideration paid in December 2011 for the January 5, 2011 adjustment to the Royalty Pool.(4)  The Fund's net income (loss) in 2011 was impacted by non-cash changes in the fair value of the Fund units in accordance with IFRS.About the FundThe Fund is a limited purpose trust established to invest in Trade Marks, which through its interest in A&W Trade Marks Limited Partnership (the Partnership), owns the A&W trade-marks used in the A&W quick service restaurant business in Canada.  The A&W trade-marks comprise some of the best-known brand names in the Canadian foodservice industry.  In return for licensing A&W Food Services to use its trade-marks, Trade Marks (through the Partnership) receives royalties equal to 3% of the sales of A&W restaurants in the Royalty Pool.  A&W is the second largest quick-service hamburger restaurant chain in Canada.  Operating coast-to-coast, A&W restaurants feature famous trade-marked menu items such as The Burger Family, Chubby Chicken and A&W Root Beer.The Royalty Pool is adjusted annually to reflect sales from new A&W restaurants, net of the sales of any A&W restaurants that have permanently closed.  Additional limited partnership units (LP units) are issued to A&W Food Services to reflect the annual adjustment.  A&W Food Services' additional LP units will be exchanged for additional shares of Trade Marks which are exchangeable for units of the Fund.  A&W Food Services currently owns 13.1% of the common shares of Trade Marks, and therefore currently owns the equivalent of 13.1% of the units of the Fund on a fully-diluted basis.Trade Marks' dividends to A&W Food Services and the Fund, and the Fund's distributions to unitholders are based on top-line revenues of the A&W restaurants in the Royalty Pool, less interest, general and administrative expenses and current income taxes of Trade Marks, and are thereby isolated from many of the factors that impact an operating business.Certain statements in this press release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws in Canada (forward-looking information). The words "anticipates", "believes", "budgets", "could", "estimates", "expects", "forecasts", "intends", "may", "might", "plans", "projects", "schedule", "should", "will", "would" and similar expressions are often intended to identify forward-looking information, although not all forward-looking information contains these identifying words.  The forward-looking information is based on assumptions that management considered reasonable at the time it was prepared.  The forward-looking information is subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated by the forward-looking information. The factors which could cause results to differ from current expectations are described in the Fund's most recent Management Discussion and Analysis under the heading "Risks and Uncertainties" and the Fund's Annual Information Form under the heading "Risk Factors", available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Fund's website at www.awincomefund.ca.Additional information relating to the Fund is available at www.sedar.com and www.awincomefund.ca.   For further information: Don Leslie, Chief Financial Officer:  (604) 988-2141 or investorrelations@aw.ca