Dollarama fourth-quarter profit hit by COVID expenses

Discount retailer also reports a decline in comparable store sales

Dollarama Inc. reported its fourth-quarter profit edged down compared with a year ago due to restrictions imposed by provincial governments and costs related to the pandemic.

The retailer says it earned $173.9 million or 56 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Jan. 31, down from a profit of $178.7 million or 57 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Sales in the 13-week period totalled $1.10 billion, up from nearly $1.07 billion.

Excluding temporarily closed stores, comparable store sales for the quarter fell 0.2% compared with a year earlier.

In reporting its latest financial results, Dollarama also raised the number of stores it hopes to have in Canada to 2,000 by 2031, compared with its total of 1,356 stores at Jan. 31.

The new target is up from an earlier goal of 1,700 stores by 2027.