CANADA: Loblaw Profits Surge In Q4

Loblaw has reported a strong rise in profits for its fiscal fourth quarter, even as retail sales rose modestly for the period.

For the quarter, net profit jumped up 57% to C$201m, helped by one-off items, while revenue rose by 2.4% to C$11.1bn. Canada’s largest grocer said profits were boosted by cost cuts, as well as improvements in its various divisions.

Overall retail sales were up 2.3% to C$10.85bn, with Food Retail up 2.4% to C$7.8bn (like-for-like up 1.1% excl. fuel). Meanwhile, the Shoppers Drug Mart drugstore chain reporting LFL growth of 3.4%, with pharmacy LFL up 2.5% and front-end LFL up 4.1%.

CEO Galen G. Weston noted: “Our focus on our strategic framework and financial plan delivered solid financial performance in the fourth quarter and demonstrated the strength of our portfolio of businesses amidst a highly competitive food retail environment, and pressures from healthcare reform.”