OAKVILLE, ONT. — Tim Hortons Inc. posted net income of C$66,439,000 ($56,709,000), equal to C$0.37 per share on the common stock, in the first quarter ended March 29, up 8% from C$61,820,000, or C$0.33 per share, in the previous year’s first quarter. Net sales rose 10% to C$507,185,000 ($432,902,000). Same-store sales grew 3.4% in Canada and 3.2% in the United States.

"Sales growth in both our Canadian and U.S. markets was quite strong in the first quarter considering the challenging economic circumstances that continued to persist," said Don Schroeder, president and chief executive officer. "Sales accelerated through the quarter after a slow start in January, supported by active menu and marketing programs and previous pricing in the system. We also continued to execute our growth agenda, operating new restaurants in targeted U.S. markets and throughout Canada."

During the first quarter, Tim Hortons said it upped its focus on several combo initiatives for the breakfast daypart, including breakfast sandwiches with hash browns. In the United States, combo programs included a sausage and a biscuit at a lower price point, as well as Cherry Chocolate Bloom donuts, Trail Mix cookies and whole grain blueberry muffins.

Tim Hortons said its U.S. business sustained a loss of C$564,000 ($482,000) in the first quarter, which compared with a loss of C$2,879,000 in the same period a year earlier.

A total of 8 restaurants were opened in the United States during the quarter.