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Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund Announces Franchise Sales Records of $185 Million for the Fourth Quarter and $731 Million for the Year

Distributable Cash Increased 10.9% for the Fourth Quarter and 8.0% for 2012

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/07/13 -- Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund (TSX:BPF.UN) and Boston Pizza International Inc. -

Highlights


--  Record Franchise Sales(1) from royalty pool restaurants for the fourth
    quarter of $185.2 million and for the Year of $731.5 million compared to
    $177.5 million and $699.3 million, respectively, in 2011. 
    
--  Same store sales growth of 2.2% for the Period and 3.3% for the Year. 
    
--  Distributable Cash(2) increased 10.9% for the Period and 8.0% for the
    Year versus the same periods in 2011. 
    
--  Payout Ratio(3) of 98.7% for the Period and 99.3% for the Year. 
    
--  Trustees declare January distribution to unitholders of 9.8 cents per
    unit. 

Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund (the "Fund") and Boston Pizza International Inc. ("BPI") each reported today financial results for the period from October 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012 (the "Period") and from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012 (the "Year"). A copy of this press release, the consolidated annual financial statements for the Year and related Management's Discussion and Analysis of the Fund and BPI are available at www.sedar.com and www.bpincomefund.com. The Fund will host a conference call to discuss the results on February 7, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time (11:30 a.m. Eastern Time). The call can be accessed by dialling 1-800-319-4610 or 604-638-5340. A replay will be available until March 8, 2013 by dialling 1-800-319-6413 or 604-638-9010 and entering the pin code: 4452 followed by the # sign.

Same store sales growth ("SSSG"), a key driver of distribution growth for unitholders of the Fund, was 2.2% for the Period and 3.3% for the Year compared to 6.4% and 4.9%, respectively, for the same periods in 2011. Franchise Sales(1), the basis upon which royalties are paid by BPI to the Fund, exclude revenue from the sale of liquor, beer, wine and tobacco and approved national promotions and discounts. On a Franchise Sales(1) basis, SSSG was 3.0% for the Period and 3.4% for the Year compared to 5.8% and 4.9%, respectively, for the same periods in 2011. The positive SSSG in the Period and Year was principally due to higher takeout and delivery sales resulting from continued promotion of Boston Pizza's online ordering system and higher chicken wing sales resulting from the introduction of "All Meat Wings" earlier in 2012. Franchise Sales(1) of restaurants in the royalty pool were a fourth quarter record of $185.2 million for the Period and an annual record of $731.5 million for the Year compared to $177.5 million and $699.3 million, respectively, in the same periods in 2011. The increases in Franchise Sales(1) for the Period and Year are attributed to the positive SSSG experienced in the Period and Year and the addition of three net new restaurants to the Fund's royalty pool on January 1, 2012.

"2012 was another strong year for Boston Pizza with record top-line sales and seven new restaurant openings," said Mark Pacinda, President and CEO of BPI. "In addition, we were excited to reach some significant milestones during the year such as our 125th consecutive monthly distribution to unitholders, surpassing $150 million in total distributions since the Fund's inception in 2002, our 15th increase to the monthly distribution amount and the Fund's 10 year trading anniversary on the Toronto Stock Exchange."

The Fund's net income was $4.3 million for the Period and $2.0 million for the Year compared to net income of $0.3 million and of $15.6 million, respectively, in the same periods in 2011. The changes in net income for the Period and Year were mainly driven by the changes in fair value adjustments on the Class B units of Boston Pizza Royalties Limited Partnership (the "Class B Unit liability"). The Fund's net income under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") contains non-cash items, such as the fair value adjustment on the Class B Unit liability, that do not affect the Fund's business operations or its ability to pay distributions to unitholders. In the Fund's view, net income is not the only or most meaningful measurement of the Fund's ability to pay distributions. Consequently, the Fund has provided the non-IFRS metrics of Distributable Cash(2) and Payout Ratio(3) to provide investors with more meaningful information regarding the amount of cash that the Fund has generated to pay distributions. Readers are cautioned that Distributable Cash(2) and Payout Ratio(2) are non-IFRS financial measures that do not have standardized meanings prescribed by IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. For a reconciliation between cash flow from operating activities (the most directly comparable IFRS measure) and Distributable Cash(2) and a detailed discussion on the Fund's Distributable Cash(2) and Payout Ratio(3), please see the "Operating Results - Distributable Cash / Payout Ratio" section in the Fund's Management's Discussion and Analysis for the Period.

The Fund's Distributable Cash(2) was $4.5 million or $0.303 per unit of the Fund ("Unit") for the Period and $17.4 million or $1.184 per Unit for the Year compared to $4.1 million or $0.281 per Unit and $16.1 million or $1.104 per Unit for the same periods, respectively, in 2011. This represents increases of 10.9% for the Period and 8.0% for the Year compared to the same periods, respectively, one year ago. These increases were mainly driven by higher royalty revenue. Distributions for the Period and the Year were funded entirely by cash flow from operations. No debt was incurred at any point during the Period or the Year to fund distributions.

The Fund's Payout Ratio(3) was 98.7% for the Period and 99.3% for the Year compared to 98.3% and 95.7% in the same periods, respectively, one year ago. The Fund's Payout Ratio(3) for the Period and the Year increased compared to the same periods one year ago primarily due to the distribution increase beginning with the February 2012 distribution to unitholders. The Fund strives to provide unitholders with regular monthly distributions, and as a result, the Fund will generally experience seasonal fluctuations in its Payout Ratio(3). The Fund's Payout Ratio(3) is likely to be higher in the first and fourth quarters compared to the second and third quarters since Boston Pizza restaurants experience higher Franchise Sales(1) during the summer months when restaurants open their patios and benefit from increased tourist traffic. Higher Franchise Sales(1) generally result in increases in Distributable Cash(2). A key feature of the Fund is that it is a "top line" structure, in which BPI pays the Fund a royalty equal to 4% of Franchise Sales(1) from restaurants in the Fund's royalty pool. Accordingly, Fund unitholders are not directly exposed to changes in the operating costs or profitability of BPI or of individual Boston Pizza restaurants. Given this structure, and that the Fund has no current mandate to retain capital for other purposes, it is expected that the Fund will maintain a Payout Ratio(3) close to 100% over time as the trustees of the Fund continue to distribute all available cash in order to maximize returns to unitholders. As the Payout Ratio(3) is calculated from a formula which includes Distributable Cash(2), which is a non-IFRS measure, a reconciliation of Payout Ratio(3) to an IFRS measure is not possible. For a reconciliation of Distributable Cash(2) to its closest IFRS measure, cash flows from operating activities, see the "Operating Results - Distributable Cash / Payout Ratio" section in the Fund's Management's Discussion and Analysis for the Period.

The trustees of the Fund announced a cash distribution to unitholders of 9.8 cents per Unit for January 2013. The distribution will be payable to unitholders of record at the close of business on February 21, 2013 and will be paid on February 28, 2013. The Fund periodically reviews distribution levels based on its policy of stable and sustainable distribution flow to unitholders. Since the Fund's initial public offering in 2002, unitholders have received 15 distribution increases. The most recent distribution increase of 6.5% was effective for the February 2012 distribution payable in March 2012 and increased the monthly distribution amount from 9.2 cents per Unit to 9.8 cents per Unit. Including the January 2013 distribution, which will be paid in February 2013, the Fund will have paid out 127 consecutive monthly distributions totalling $159.1 million or $12.87 per Unit.

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

The tables below sets out selected information from the consolidated financial statements of the Fund together with other data and should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements of the Fund.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         Q4 2012  Q4 2011     2012     2011 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(in thousands of dollars - except                                           
 restaurants, SSSG, Payout Ratio(3) and                                     
 per Unit items)                                                            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
System-wide Gross Sales(4)               239,764  232,713  943,053  904,872 
Number of restaurants in Royalty Pool(5)     341      336      341      336 
Franchise Sales(1) reported by                                              
 restaurants in the Royalty Pool         185,197  177,465  731,455  699,329 
                                                                            
Revenues                                                                    
----------------------------------------                                    
Royalty revenue - 4% of Franchise                                           
 Sales(1)                                  7,408    7,098   29,258   27,973 
Interest income                              453      454    1,814    1,815 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total revenues                             7,861    7,552   31,072   29,788 
                                                                            
Expenses                                                                    
----------------------------------------                                    
Administrative expenses and interest on                                     
 bank debt                                  (462)    (432)  (2,067)  (1,894)
Interest expense on Class B Units and                                       
 Class C Units(6)                         (1,978)  (2,042)  (6,295)  (5,814)
Fair value adjustment on Class B Unit                                       
 liability(7)                                633   (3,308) (14,867)    (731)
Fair value adjustment on interest rate                                      
 swap                                         69        -      136        - 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Subtotal                                  (1,738)  (5,782) (23,093)  (8,439)
Current income tax expense                (1,421)  (1,396)  (5,423)  (5,474)
Deferred income tax expense                 (360)     (70)    (510)    (290)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total expenses                            (3,519)  (7,248) (29,026) (14,203)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
Net Income                                                                  
----------------------------------------                                    
Net income                                 4,342      304    2,046   15,585 
Basic earnings per Unit                     0.29     0.02     0.14     1.07 
Diluted earnings per Unit                   0.23     0.02     0.14     1.06 
                                                                            
Distributable Cash(2) / Distributions /                                     
 Payout Ratio(3)                                                            
----------------------------------------                                    
Cash flows from operating activities       6,006    7,037   18,175   27,490 
    Class C distributions to BPI            (450)    (450)  (1,800)  (1,800)
    Class B entitlement to BPI              (986)  (1,099)  (4,495)  (4,130)
  SIFT tax on Units(8)                       (31)  (1,396)   5,492   (5,474)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Distributable Cash(2)                      4,539    4,092   17,372   16,086 
Distributions payable(9)                   4,480    4,021   17,244   15,387 
Payout Ratio(3)                             98.7%    98.3%    99.3%    95.7%
Distributable Cash per Unit(2)             0.303    0.281    1.184    1.104 
Distributions payable per Unit(9)          0.294    0.276    1.170    1.056 
                                                                            
Other                                                                       
----------------------------------------                                    
Same store sales growth (SSSG)               2.2%     6.4%     3.3%     4.9%
Number of restaurants opened during the                                     
 period                                        4        2        7        7 
Number of restaurants closed during the                                     
 period                                        0        0        2        4 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Dec 31,  Dec 31, 
                                                              2012     2011 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total assets                                               264,632  261,571 
Total liabilities                                           99,353   99,794 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
                                                                            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Q4       Q3       Q2       Q1 
                                            2012     2012     2012     2012 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(in thousands of dollars - except                                           
 restaurants, Payout Ratio(3) and per                                       
 Unit items)                                                                
System-wide Gross Sales(4)               239,764  239,269  237,955  226,065 
Number of restaurants in Royalty Pool(5)     341      341      341      342 
Franchise Sales(1) reported by                                              
 restaurants in the Royalty Pool         185,197  186,081  183,593  176,581 
                                                                            
Revenues                                                                    
----------------------------------------                                    
Royalty revenue - 4% of Franchise Sales    7,408    7,443    7,344    7,063 
Interest income                              453      453      453      455 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total revenues                             7,861    7,896    7,797    7,518 
                                                                            
Expenses                                                                    
----------------------------------------                                    
Administrative expenses and interest on                                     
 bank debt                                  (462)    (616)    (512)    (477)
Interest on Class B Units and Class C                                       
 Units(6)                                 (1,978)  (1,628)  (1,628)  (1,061)
Fair value adjustment on Class B Unit                                       
 liability(7)                                633   (5,890)   1,953  (11,563)
Fair value adjustment on interest rate                                      
 swap                                         69       67        -        - 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Subtotal                                  (1,738)  (8,067)    (187) (13,101)
Current income tax expense                (1,421)  (1,350)  (1,351)  (1,301)
Deferred income tax expense                 (360)     (60)     (70)     (20)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total expenses                            (3,519)  (9,477)  (1,608) (14,422)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
Net Income (loss)                                                           
----------------------------------------                                    
Net income (loss)                          4,342   (1,581)   6,189   (6,904)
Basic earnings (loss) per Unit              0.29    (0.11)    0.42    (0.47)
Diluted earnings (loss) per Unit            0.23    (0.11)    0.24    (0.47)
                                                                            
Distributable Cash(2) / Distributions /                                     
 Payout Ratio(3)                                                            
----------------------------------------                                    
Cash flows from operating activities       6,006    6,189    5,903       77 
    Class C distributions to BPI            (450)    (450)    (450)    (450)
    Class B entitlement to BPI              (986)  (1,211)  (1,178)  (1,154)
  SIFT tax on Units(8)                       (31)       -       (1)   5,524 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Distributable cash(2)                      4,539    4,528    4,274    3,997 
Distributions payable(9)                   4,480    4,284    4,284    4,196 
Payout Ratio(3)                             98.7%    94.6%   100.2%   105.0%
Distributable cash per Unit(2)             0.303    0.311    0.293    0.274 
Distributions payable per Unit(9)          0.294    0.294    0.294    0.288 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
                                                                            
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              Q4       Q3       Q2       Q1 
                                            2011     2011     2011     2011 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
(in thousands of dollars - except                                           
 restaurants, Payout Ratio(3) and per                                       
 Unit items)                                                                
System-wide Gross Sales(4)               232,713  235,911  228,766  207,482 
Number of restaurants in Royalty Pool(5)     336      336      338      339 
Franchise Sales(1) reported by                                              
 restaurants in the Royalty Pool         177,465  183,163  175,568  163,133 
                                                                            
Revenues                                                                    
----------------------------------------                                    
Royalty revenue - 4% of Franchise Sales    7,098    7,327    7,023    6,525 
Interest income                              454      454      455      452 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total revenues                             7,552    7,781    7,478    6,977 
                                                                            
Expenses                                                                    
----------------------------------------                                    
Administrative expenses and interest on                                     
 bank debt                                  (432)    (449)    (511)    (502)
Interest expense on Class B Units and                                       
 Class C Units(6)                         (2,042)  (1,447)  (1,388)    (937)
Fair value adjustment on Class B Unit                                       
 liability(7)                             (3,308)   1,148    2,707   (1,278)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Subtotal                                  (5,782)    (748)     808   (2,717)
Current income tax expense                (1,396)  (1,449)  (1,366)  (1,263)
Deferred income tax expense                  (70)    (100)     (70)     (50)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total expenses                            (7,248)  (2,297)    (628)  (4,030)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                            
Net Income                                                                  
----------------------------------------                                    
Net income                                   304    5,484    6,850    2,947 
Basic earnings per Unit                     0.02     0.38     0.47     0.20 
Diluted earnings per Unit                   0.02     0.24     0.23     0.20 
                                                                            
Distributable Cash(2) / Distributions /                                     
 Payout Ratio(3)                                                            
----------------------------------------                                    
Cash flows from operating activities       7,037    7,266    6,922    6,265 
    Class C distributions to BPI            (450)    (450)    (450)    (450)
    Class B entitlement to BPI            (1,099)  (1,077)  (1,023)    (952)
  SIFT tax on Units(8)                    (1,396)  (1,449)  (1,366)  (1,263)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Distributable cash(2)                      4,092    4,290    4,083    3,600 
Distributions payable(9)                   4,021    4,021    3,672    3,672 
Payout Ratio(3)                             98.3%    93.7%    89.9%   102.0%
Distributable cash per Unit(2)             0.281    0.294    0.280    0.247 
Distributions payable per Unit(9)          0.276    0.276    0.252    0.252 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

OUTLOOK

The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association has forecast average annual sales growth of 3.9% for the Canadian full-service restaurant sector in 2013. BPI's management believes that Boston Pizza is well positioned to continue outperforming this overall sales growth rate by attracting a wide variety of guests into the restaurant, sports bar and take-out/delivery parts of each location, offering a compelling value proposition to our guests and continuing to open new Boston Pizza locations across Canada.

The two principal factors that affect SSSG are changes in customer traffic and changes in average guest cheque. BPI's strategies to drive higher guest traffic include a larger marketing budget versus the previous year along with a revised calendar of national and local store promotions. Increased average cheque levels are expected to be achieved through a combination of culinary innovation and annual menu re-pricing. In addition, BPI's franchise agreement requires that each Boston Pizza restaurant undergo a complete store renovation every seven years. Restaurants typically close for two to three weeks to complete the renovation and experience an incremental sales increase in the year following the re-opening.

Boston Pizza remains well positioned for future expansion as evidenced by the seven new Boston Pizza restaurants that opened in 2012 and the five additional locations that are currently under construction. BPI's management believe that Boston Pizza will continue to strengthen its position as the number one casual dining brand in Canada by pursuing further restaurant development opportunities across the country.

Certain information in this press release may constitute "forward-looking information" that involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties, future expectations and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Fund, Boston Pizza Holdings Trust, the Partnership, Boston Pizza Holdings Limited Partnership, Boston Pizza Holdings GP Inc., Boston Pizza GP Inc., BPI, Boston Pizza restaurants, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. When used in this press release, forward-looking information may include words such as "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "expect", "believe", "plan" and other similar terminology. This information reflects current expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speaks only as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, the Fund and BPI assume no obligation to update previously disclosed forward-looking information.

For a complete list of the risks associated with forward-looking information and our business, please refer to the "Risks and Uncertainties" and "Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information" sections included in the Fund's most recent Management's Discussion and Analysis for the Period available at www.sedar.com and www.bpincomefund.com. The trustees of the Fund have approved the contents of this press release.

(1) Franchise sales is the basis on which the royalty is payable; it means the revenues of Boston Pizza restaurants in respect of which the royalty is payable ("Franchise Sales"). The term "revenue" refers to the gross revenue: (i) of the corporate Boston Pizza restaurants in Canada owned by BPI; and (ii) reported to BPI by franchised Boston Pizza restaurants in Canada, without audit or other form of independent assurance, and in the case of both (i) and (ii), after deducting revenue from the sale of liquor, beer, wine and tobacco and revenue from BPI approved national promotions and discounts and excluding applicable sales and similar taxes. Nevertheless, BPI periodically conducts audits of the Franchise Sales reported to it by its franchisees, and the Franchise Sales reported herein include results from sales audits of earlier periods.

(2) Distributable Cash is a non-IFRS financial measure that does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. This non-IFRS financial measure provides useful information to investors regarding the amount of cash the Fund has generated for distribution on the Units. Investors are cautioned that this should not be construed as an alternative net income measure of profitability. The related tables in the Fund's most Management Discussion and Analysis for the Period provide a reconciliation from this non-IFRS financial measure to cash flows from operating activities, which is the most directly comparable IFRS measure.

(3) Payout Ratio is calculated by dividing the interest / distributions payable by the Fund in respect of the applicable period by the Distributable Cash generated in that period. Payout Ratio is a non-IFRS financial measure that does not have a standardized meaning prescribed by IFRS and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other issuers. This non-IFRS financial measure provides investors with useful information regarding the extent to which the Fund distributes cash on the Units. Investors are cautioned that this should not be construed as an alternative net income measure of profitability.

(4) System-wide gross sales means the gross revenue: (i) of the corporate Boston Pizza restaurants in Canada owned by BPI; and (ii) reported to BPI by franchised Boston Pizza restaurants in Canada, without audit or other form of independent assurance, and in the case of both (i) and (ii), including revenue from the sale of liquor, beer, wine and tobacco and revenue from BPI approved national promotions and discounts and excluding applicable sales and similar taxes ("System-wide Gross Sales").

(5) Number of restaurants in the Royalty Pool excludes restaurants that permanently closed during the applicable period.

(6) The Class B general partner units of the Partnership (the "Class B Units") and the Class C general partner units of the Partnership (the "Class C Units") are classified as financial liabilities under IFRS, and as such, amounts paid by the Partnership to BPI in respect of the Class B Units and Class C Units are classified as interest expense and not distributions.

(7) The Fund is required under IFRS to fair value the Class B Unit liability at the end of each period and adjust for any increase or decrease in the fair value of that liability as compared to the fair value of that liability at the end of the immediately preceding period. This adjustment has no impact on the Fund's Distributable Cash.

(8) Specified Investment Flow through tax ("SIFT Tax") on Units is the SIFT Tax expense for the respective period (as a negative number) plus the amount of SIFT Tax paid in the respective period.

(9) Under the declaration of trust governing the Fund, the Fund pays distributions on the Units in respect of any particular calendar month not later than the last business day of the immediately subsequent month. Accordingly, distributions on the Units in respect of the calendar month of January are paid no later than the last business day of February, distributions on the Units in respect of the calendar month of February are paid no later than the last business day of March and so forth. Consequently, distributions payable by the Fund on the Units in respect of the Period (as defined herein) were the October 2012 distribution (which was paid on November 30, 2012), the November 2012 distribution (which was paid on December 31, 2012) and the December 2012 distribution (which was paid on January 31, 2013). Similarly, the distributions payable by the Fund on the Units in respect of any other period are the distributions paid in the immediately subsequent month of each month comprising such other period.

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The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.