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Free doughnuts

How would you like a free doughnut?

Now that we have your attention, you can help Tim Hortons celebrate its 50th birthday on Saturday, and in return you will get a free limited-edition Birthday Cake Donut.

"Since our first restaurant opened its doors May 17, 1964, Tim Hortons has become an essential part of Canadians' lives," said Marc Caira, president & CEO, Tim Hortons Inc.

"We are thanking our loyal guests for making Tim Hortons Canada's favourite."

As well, the company announced its #timsbringitback winner, which saw Canadians vote for their favourite discontinued treat from the 1970s (Sugar Twist), '80s (Pecan Butter Tart), '90s (Chocolate Sour Cream Glazed Donut) and the 2000s (Bread Bowl). The winner, with 40 per cent of the votes, was the 1960s treat, the Eclair.

"We couldn't be more excited to be giving back to our loyal guests, by reintroducing for a limited time The Eclair in restaurants later this year," said Caira.

Manitobans get together

The popular business matchmaking event Centrallia is back, only this time it will have a decidedly Manitoba focus.

Instead of featuring one-on-one, speed-dating-style sessions between local and international business people, this fall's two-day forum will see Manitobans pairing with other Manitobans to explore opportunities for doing business together.

Mariette Mulaire, president and CEO of World Trade Centre Winnipeg, which is organizing the event along with the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, said the idea to hold a Manitoba-focused event came from participants in the two previous Centrallias held in 2010 and 2012.

"They said, 'How about you help Manitobans meet Manitobans?' So we said, 'Why don't we try it?' "

Mulaire noted there are all kinds of successful businesses in rural and northern Manitoba Winnipeggers may know little or nothing about. Hopefully, Centrallia can provide them a chance to connect and explore opportunities for doing business together or forming new strategic alliances.

The business forum will be held Oct. 8 and 9 at the Club Regent Event Centre & Canad Inns hotel on Regent Avenue, and there is room for up to 400 participants. Registration is now open and the cost is $450 for the first 100 registrants and $525 after that.


Boyd sees growth in Q1

Boyd Group Income Fund, the Winnipeg-based company that operates collision-repair shops in North America, reported dramatic growth across the board for the first quarter.

Sales increased by 40.6 per cent to $183.6 million from $130.6 million in 2013. That growth included same-store sales increases of 7.6 per cent.

Severe winter weather, contributions from acquisitions, a new paint-supply agreement and favourable currency translation helped produce the strong growth.

Adjusted EBITDA increased 84 per cent to $15 million, compared with $8.2 million in 2013, while adjusted net earnings increased to $7.3 million compared with $3.7 million in 2013.

After the end of the quarter, Boyd acquired Collision Revision, with 25 locations in Illinois, Indiana and Florida.

Manufacturing sales fall

Manitoba manufacturers lost a little ground in March, with sales dipping by 0.2 per cent after a healthy 6.4 per cent gain in February.

Statistics Canada said Thursday local factories shipped out $1.342 billion worth of goods during the month. That compared with $1.344 billion in February.

The decline followed two straight monthly increases that included a 1.6 per cent gain in January.

Although March's total was down a bit from the previous month, it was still a 4.9 per cent improvement from a year earlier, when $1.28 billion worth of goods were sold.

And despite losing a little ground in March, sales for the first three months of this year were still running 2.8 per cent ahead of last year's pace for the same period -- $3.9 billion versus $3.8 billion, Statistics Canada numbers show.

Nationally, manufacturing sales edged up 0.4 per cent to $50.9 billion from $50.7 billion in February. Statistics Canada said it was the sixth advance in seven months for Canada's manufacturing industry.

It said five provinces saw their sales improve in March. Nova Scotia had the biggest percentage gain at 5.3 per cent.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 16, 2014 B9

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