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Ahead of its fourth-quarter earnings call, Restaurant Brands International Inc. (QSR) announced Wednesday some major leadership changes, pre-released comparable sales and net restaurant growth results and declared a dividend increase.

Restaurant Brands declared a quarterly dividend increase to 50 cents a share and said it was targeting $2 in dividends for 2019 compared to $1.80 in 2018, citing confidence in the company's long-term outlook.

The dividend will be payable on April 3, to shareholders and unitholders of record on March 15.

Major leadership changes are effective immediately. Jose Cil, president of Burger King since 2014, was named RBI's new CEO. He takes over from Daniel Schwartz, who was former CEO of Burger King in 2013 and CEO of RBI since its formation in 2014.

Schwartz was promoted to executive chairman of RBI and co-chairman of the board and will work closely with Cil over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.

Josh Kobza was promoted to chief operating officer after seven years as an executive in the business, including as chief financial officer from 2013 to 2017 and as chief technology and development officer in 2018.

RBI said in a statement that the changes in leadership will strengthen the company's focus on accelerating global growth and the dividend increase demonstrates continued growth and performance.

Comparable sales for the fourth quarter on a constant currency basis for Tim Horton's grew 1.9%, at Burger King they were up 1.7% and Popeyes up 0.1%. Net restaurant growth for Tim Hortons grew 2.1%, Burger King up 6.1% and Popeyes up 7.3%.