Prime Restaurants Royalty Income Fund
TSX : EAT.UN

Prime Restaurants Royalty Income Fund

August 05, 2008 16:34 ET

Prime Restaurants Royalty Income Fund Announces Improved Second Quarter 2008 Results

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 5, 2008) - Prime Restaurants Royalty Income Fund ("the Fund") (TSX:EAT.UN) today reported results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2008.

HIGHLIGHTS:

- Positive SSSG across all brands in first half of 2008

- Second quarter SSSG up 6.0% in Atlantic Canada

- Second quarter SSSG up 0.2% in Ontario

- Opened four new locations and renovated four additional restaurants in the second quarter

- New summer menus recently introduced

- New Bier Markt location opened on August 4th. in downtown Toronto

Gross revenue reported by the royalty pooled restaurants in the second quarter of 2008 was $86.8 million compared to $86.3 million for the same period last year. For the six months ended June 30, 2008 gross revenues were up 1.3% to $169.1 million compared to $167.0 million for the same period last year. There are 155 royalty pooled restaurants in 2008 compared to 156 royalty pooled restaurants for 2007. For the three and six months ended June 30, 2008, royalty income from royalty pooled restaurants was $2.8 million and $5.5 million respectively, compared to $2.8 million and $5.4 million for the same respective periods last year.

Distributable cash available to Unitholders was $1.7 million or $0.28 per unit for the three months ended June 30, 2008 and $3.4 million or $0.56 per unit for the first six months of 2008. The Fund declared cash distributions of $1.7 million or $0.28 per unit in the second quarter of 2008 and $3.4 million or $0.56 per unit for the first six month of the year, consistent with the prior year periods.

Same Store Sales Growth (SSSG) for the three months ended June 30, 2008 was 0.04% for the royalty pooled restaurants. Growth was generated in Prime's Casey's and Pubs brands, resulting in 0.3% SSSG for Casey's in the second quarter of 2008 and 2.0% SSSG for the Pubs. SSSG at East Side Mario's was down slightly in the second quarter by 0.3%. On a geographic basis, positive results were generated in the Atlantic Canada and Ontario markets, with SSSG up 6.0% and 0.2%, respectively during the second quarter. Western Canada and Quebec posted negative SSSG during the quarter of 2.1% and 1.0%, respectively due primarily to poor weather in the period.

For the first half of 2008, the Fund posted positive SSSG across all of its brands, with Casey's up 0.8%, the Pubs up 4.4% and East Side Mario's up 0.1% respectively. On a geographic basis, positive SSSG was experienced in most markets, with Ontario up 0.8%, Atlantic Canada up 5.0%, and Quebec posting positive SSSG of 0.1% for the first six months of 2008. The Western Canadian market saw a decline in SSSG of 1.6%. On a cumulative basis, SSSG for the royalty pooled restaurants for the first half of 2008 was 0.62%.

"We are generally satisfied with our results in the second quarter," commented John Rothschild, Chairman and CEO of Prime Restaurants of Canada Inc. "Despite the challenging market and economic conditions the casual dining sector is facing, and the poor weather experienced in March and April, we are maintaining our track record of generating overall positive same store sales growth, and remain confident that our ongoing initiatives to enhance our menus, service and guest experience will continue to attract and retain customers while building our presence across the country."

Operational Review

For restaurants available to enter the royalty pool on January 1, 2009, four new restaurants were opened in the second quarter of 2008, one Casey's, two East Side Mario's, and one pub location. One East Side Mario's restaurant in Ontario was closed during the second quarter of 2008.

Renovations were completed at two East Side Mario's locations and two Casey's locations during the second quarter of 2008. SSSG at these restaurants increased 3.8% compared to pre-renovation sales.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FUND:



($000's, except per Three months Three months Six months Six months
unit data) ended ended ended ended
June 30, June 30, June 30, June 30,
2008 2007 2008 2007

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Interest and Dividend
income 1,724 1,754 3,485 3,490
Net earnings 1,694 1,727 3,426 3,435
Total assets 56,971 55,173 56,971 55,173
Distributions to
Unitholders 1,723 1,723 3,446 3,446
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trust units - outstanding 6,110,000 6,110,000 6,110,000 6,110,000
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Trust units - diluted 9,321,620 9,298,546 9,321,620 9,298,546
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Basic earnings per
Trust Unit $ 0.28 $ 0.28 $ 0.56 $ 0.56
Diluted earnings per
Trust Unit $ 0.28 $ 0.28 $ 0.56 $ 0.56
Distributions paid per
Trust Unit $ 0.28 $ 0.28 $ 0.56 $ 0.56
---------------------------------------------------------------------------


SELECTIVE YEAR-TO-DATE TRADEMARKCO FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS:



---------------------------------------------------------------------------
($000's except # of Royalty Pooled Restaurants) 2008 2007
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
# of Royalty Pooled Restaurants 155 156
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gross Revenue Royalty Pooled Restaurants 169,122 167,037
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Royalty Income 5,496 5,429
Operating Expenses 387 228
Dividends accrued on Class A and Class B shares 1,802 1,779
Interest Expense 3,427 3,409
---------------------------------------------------------------------------


Outlook

The re-branding of the Casey's division has resulted in solid improvements in SSSG. For 2008, management plans to renovate three Casey's locations to maintain the positive trend being experienced with the rejuvenated concept. In addition, three new locations are expected to be opened in 2008, with a target of opening an additional 23 new locations over the next five years, primarily focused in eastern Canada.

In the pubs business, new and innovative menus are being introduced and are proving very popular. In addition, numerous promotions such as Keith's® Wednesdays and Guinness® Fridays are generating solid growth. Three new pubs are slated to open in 2008, including one at the Ottawa International Airport. Management is also looking at opportunities to further develop the Bier Markt brand. The Bier Markt offers a premium and unique experience to consumers. A second Bier Markt opened on August 4th. in downtown Toronto. Over the next five years the opening of 25 new pubs and five new Bier Markt locations are planned.

At East Side Mario's, management continues to roll out the new re-freshed and high energy design, taking the brand back to its roots to provide an authentic taste of Little Italy. With a twenty-year heritage of providing fun and value to Canadian families, East Side Mario's has a well-established identity with an 88% brand loyalty factor as measured by an independent survey. During 2008, East Side Mario's has increased its media budget, including a return to television advertising, as well as increased marketing support during the peak summer months. Eight new restaurants utilizing the rejuvenated prototype design are planned for opening in 2008 while ten locations plan renovations incorporating elements of the new design. Management's target over the next five years is to open a total of 48 new East Side Mario's locations with a focus on building the brand's presence in Western Canada and Quebec.

The Fund's financial statements and Management's Discussion and Analysis for the three and six months ended June 30, 2008 and 2007 are available at www.primeincomefund.ca and www.sedar.com.

PRC's Consolidated Financial Statements and MD&A

PRC's consolidated financial statements, notes and MD&A can be accessed at www.sedar.com under the "financial statements of operating entity" and "other" document types for the Fund.

Quarterly Conference Call

Prime Restaurants Royalty Income Fund will host a conference call on Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. ET to discuss the results of the Fund and operations and performance of PRC. Interested participants may dial (416) 849-2698 or toll-free at (866) 400-2270 to access the call. The conference call will also be broadcast over the Fund's website at www.primeincomefund.ca .

Prime Restaurants Royalty Income Fund ("the Fund") is a limited purpose trust authorized to issue an unlimited number of Trust Units ("Units") established to invest in PRC Trademarks Inc. ("TradeMarkCo"). The source of revenue for the Fund is through its ownership in, and debt instrument issued by, TradeMarkCo. The Fund receives interest income on the $61,099,000 TradeMarkCo Note based on 11.25% per annum which it distributes to its Unitholders. TradeMarkCo owns certain trade-marks and licenses their use to Prime Restaurants of Canada Inc. ("PRC") which operates and franchises the restaurant and bar business. In return, TradeMarkCo receives royalty income based on 3.25% of gross revenue from the royalty pooled restaurants operated and franchised by PRC.

Certain information included in this news release is forward looking and based on current expectations and entails various risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements may involve, but are not limited to, comments with respect to our objectives for 2008 and beyond, our strategies or future actions, and our targets or expectations for our financial performance and condition (including estimated revenue from royalty pooled restaurants and the prospective number of new restaurants and pubs). Although management of the Fund and PRC believe that the expectations represented in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct.

By their nature, forward-looking statements require us to make assumptions (such as, on the demand for the goods and services provided under the Prime Marks) and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties, including those discussed in the current annual information form of the Fund and annual and quarter MD&A of the Fund and PRC, which are available at www.sedar.com. There is significant risk that predictions and other forward-looking statements will not prove to be accurate. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements because a number of factors could cause actual future results, conditions, actions or events to differ materially from the targets, expectations, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements contained herein are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof. Except as required by applicable securities laws, the Fund does not undertake to update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that it may make or that may be made, from time to time, on its behalf.

Distributable Cash is a useful supplemental measure of operating performance that provides investors with an indication of cash available for distribution. Distributable Cash is a non-GAAP measure and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. Distributable cash is calculated as operating cash flows for the Fund (net earnings adjusted for non-cash items such as deferred revenue).

Contact Information