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02/15/2022

Tim Hortons parent company expects menu price increases in 2022 amid higher inflation

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Tim Hortons at an Esso gas station with 7Eleven convenience store
Gas and convenience operators across the country often include a Tim Hortons franchise. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Tim Hortons parent company Restaurant Brands International Inc. expects to raise prices this year as it faces rising input and staffing costs.

Jose Cil, CEO of the company that also includes Burger King, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Firehouse Subs, said RBI has "not been immune'' to the worker and inflation challenges sweeping the restaurant industry.

"Given the level of commodity costs and labour inflation we're seeing, we expect additional price increases in 2022,'' he said Tuesday during a call to discuss the company's latest financial results.

On the staffing shortage, Cil said RBI is working to simplify back-of-house processes and has developed plans to help with hiring and retention.

Matt Dunnigan, chief financial officer, said Tim Hortons saw a significant increase in commodity volatility in its latest quarter, leading to elevated levels of inflation.

But he said the coffee and doughnut chain also recorded healthy year-over-year growth, with sales improving throughout the quarter.

"We will continue to manage through the volatility that has extended into this year and ... remain focused on driving volume growth in a high quality way,'' Dunnigan said during the call.

RBI raised its dividend Tuesday as it reported its fourth-quarter profit and revenue rose compared with a year ago and topped expectations.

The company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said it will pay a quarterly dividend of 54 cents per share, up from 53 cents.

RBI said its net income attributable to common shareholders totalled US$179 million or 57 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, up from US$91 million or 30 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Revenue for the quarter totalled US$1.55 billion, up from US$1.36 billion in the last three months of 2020.

On an adjusted basis, RBI says it earned 74 cents per diluted share in its latest quarter, up from an adjusted profit of 53 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 69 cents per share and US$1.52 billion in revenue, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.