Tim Hortons makes good profit and raises its dividend

Fourth-quarter profit at Tim Hortons Inc rose 11.5 % as growth in same store sales helped to offset higher costs.

The company also raised its quarterly dividend by 28.6 %.

Well known as Tims in Canada , the chain said net earnings increased to C$75.7 million, or 40 Canadian cents a share, from C$67.9 million, or 35 Canadian cents a share in the same period a year earlier.

The mean analyst estimate was for a profit of 40 Canadian cents a share before exceptions.

Quarterly operating income gained nearly 10 % to C$116.2 million.

Revenue rose 10.5 % to C$515.4 million as the company introduced such new products as pumpkin spice smoothees, chicken fajita wraps and cream of broccoli soup.

Same-store sales grew 3.4 % in Canada and 4.2 % in the United States .

The company planned to increase its dividend payable March 17 to 9 Canadian cents a share.

The coffee and doughnut chain is trying to gain acceptance in the big U.S. market, where it meets tough competition from such long-standing rivals as Dunkin' Donuts.

Tim Hortons said its cost of sales in the quarter rose 13.6 %, partly a reflection of higher distribution costs.

Named after the National Hockey League player who co-founded the restaurant chain, the company opened 119 new restaurants in the quarter, more than the 111 it opened in the same period in 2006.

($1=$1.01 Canadian)

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Author`s name: Editorial Team