Restaurant Brands International (RBI) has reported an increase in revenue in the first quarter of the year, driven by strong system-wide sales growth.

In the three-month period that ended 31 March, RBI’s revenue totalled $1.45bn. The figure represents a 15% jump compared to $1.26bn recorded in the same quarter a year ago.

The quick-service restaurant (QSR) company attributed this increase to the rise in system-wide sales across key restaurant chains.

The company’s net income in the quarter remained stable at $270m, declining marginally from $271m in Q1 2021.

The fall was due to the impact of other operating expenses, as well as an increase in income tax expense and interest expense, among others.

RBI is one of the largest QSR companies in the world, owning brands that include Tim Hortons, Burger King, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen (PLK) and Firehouse Subs.

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Tim Hortons reported system-wide sales of $1.56bn in the first quarter of 2022, up from $1.38bn registered in the prior-year period.

The company’s Burger King chain recorded quarterly system-wide sales of $5.82bn in the period. In the same quarter a year ago, the chain’s figure was $5.17bn.

PLK’s quarterly system-wide sales also grew from $1.34bn to $1.38bn on a year-on-year basis.

RBI also reported a record number of first-quarter restaurant openings, driven by multi-brand international growth and expansion of Popeyes in the US.

Restaurant Brands International CEO José Cil said: “Our first-quarter results reflect the hard work of our great franchisees, team members and employees with important milestones, including a strong resurgence in comparable sales, record first-quarter new restaurant openings and the highest level of digital engagement we have seen from guests across our home markets.

“This progress allowed us to continue investing behind our key priorities, while also returning over $400m to shareholders between dividends and share repurchases.”

The Covid-19 pandemic impacted RBI’s global operations in the quarter, albeit at a lower level. Nearly all restaurants remained open during the three months to 31 March, with some offering limited services.

Furthermore, the company took a $12m hit during the first quarter after it suspended all forms of support for Russian operations in response to the ongoing Ukraine conflict. Notably, Burger King is the only RBI brand with restaurants in Russia.

In Q4 2021, RBI’s revenue totalled $1.55bn.