Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW) posted its first-quarter earnings before opening bell, reporting adjusted earnings per share of 17 cents, which is right in line with consensus and 49 percent higher than the same quarter a year ago. The company’s first-quarter revenue was $327.7 million, which beat the consensus of $305.8 million, although it was still a 42 percent decline from last year.

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The company’s first-quarter net income was $35.8 million or diluted earnings per share of 10 cents. That’s up from $14.3 million or 4 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago.

The fast food chain warned that sales at restaurants open more than a year were likely to be down during the first quarter, and the decline ended up being 1.4 percent, including a 3 percent decline in the U.S. and Canada. Growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific areas partially offset the decline in North American sales. System-wide sales rose 1.1 percent in constant currency.

During the first quarter, Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW) also re-franchised 33 of its company-owned restaurants in North America, receiving cash proceeds of $9.3 million. This month the company completed its re-franchising program in the region after closing re-franchising transactions in Canada and Mexico.

Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW) declared a 6-cent per share cash dividend, which will be paid on May 15 to shareholders. This week the chain also announced that it was increasing its dividend by 20 percent and beginning a $200 million stock buyback program, which will be completed by May 31.

As of the moment of this writing, shares of Burger King Worldwide Inc (NYSE:BKW) were up 1.33 percent in after-hours trading.