Tim Hortons Inc. has reported a slight increase in earnings in the third quarter as the coffee, doughnut and fast food chain saw a 10.3 per cent increase in total revenue.

The Ontario-based company said third-quarter net income attributable to shareholders was $105.7 million or 68 cents per diluted share. That was up from $103.6 million or 65 cents per diluted share in the same year-earlier period.

Total revenues in the three months to Sept. 30 were $802 million, up from $726.9 million.

Sales higher

"We continue to execute on our strategic priorities and deliver top line growth and earnings performance despite continued challenging conditions in the marketplace," said Paul House, executive chairman, president and CEO.

"We have made good progress in implementing new growth platforms including Panini sandwiches in Canada and single-serve coffee, as well as improving the guest experience by installing Wi-Fi and digital menu boards," House said.

Tim Hortons is Canada's biggest restaurant chain and the fourth-biggest in North America with more than 4,100 restaurants on the continent.

Since opening its first U.S. store in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1985, it has expanded to more than 750 stores in a dozen states — including Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia — and plans to open another 300 locations over the next three years.

The company has recently been changing its approach in some markets, including a licence agreement with Dubai-based Apparel Group to open up to 120 restaurants in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman over the next five years.

Last month, Tim Hortons joined other Canadian retailers in adding Interac Flash cards to the number of ways customers can make cashless payments at the counter.

Rather than adding to a credit card balance, the Interac cards draw down the funds from the customer's bank account.