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Empire reports Q4 profit and sales up

Sobeys parent company reported $7.84 billion in sales in the 14-week period

Empire Company Ltd. reported a quarterly profit of $178.5 million, up from $171.9 million a year earlier, as its sales also climbed higher.

The grocer says the profit in what was its fourth quarter amounted to 68 cents per diluted share, up from 64 cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Sales in the 14-week period ending May 7 totalled $7.84 billion, up from $6.92 billion, helped by the additional week of operations, the acquisition of Longo's, higher fuel sales, increased food inflation, and the expansion of FreshCo in Western Canada and Farm Boy in Ontario.

Same-store sales excluding fuel fell 2.5% compared to the COVID-elevated sales levels last year.

The company unveiled its new grocery loyalty program in the quarter, which it says is one of the final building blocks in its transformation journey.

In its outlook, Empire says it is continuing to experience supply chain challenges, largely related to labour shortages, and cost inflationary pressures, but is focused on supplier relationships and negotiations to ensure competitive pricing for consumers.

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