Empire Co. Ltd., which owns the Sobeys and Safeway grocery chains, reported its first-quarter profit rose nearly 50% compared with a year ago as its sales climbed 9%.
The grocer says it earned $191.9 million or 71 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Aug. 1, up from a profit of $130.6 million or 48 cents per diluted share a year earlier.
Empire says the results for its most recent quarter included a gain of eight cents per share from a significant real estate transaction as well as a lump sum payment of four cents per share related to a collective bargaining agreement ratified in Alberta.
Store closure and conversion costs amounted to three cents per share for the quarter compared with six cents per share a year ago.
Sales in the 13-week period totalled $7.35 billion, up from $6.74 billion a year ago.
Same-store sales were up 8.6% in the quarter compared with a gain of 1.7% a year ago, while same-store sales excluding fuel sales were up 11% compared with a gain of 2.4% in the same period last year.