Empire reports $175 million second-quarter profit

Sobeys parent says earnings were boosted from $161 million a year ago thanks to a nearly 5% increase in sales

Empire Co. Ltd. says it earned $175.4 million in its latest quarter, up from $161.4 million in the same quarter last year, helped by a nearly 5% increase in sales.

The Sobeys parent company says its profit amounted to 66 cents per diluted share for the 13-week period ended Oct. 30, up from 60 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Sales in what was the company's second quarter totalled $7.32 billion, up from $6.98 billion.

Empire says the growth was due to its acquisition of the Longo's supermarket chain earlier this year and higher fuel sales, as well as the expansion of its Farm Boy banner and Voila online grocery service in Ontario and its FreshCo banner in Western Canada.

The gains were offset by a stabilization of shopper behaviour as COVID-19 restrictions were eased across the country.

Same-store sales grew 0.4% compared with a year ago, while same-store sales, excluding fuel, fell 1.3%.

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