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George Weston gets bump from Loblaw's acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart

Weston Foods bakery business also helps boost first-quarter results

George Weston Ltd. says the addition of Shoppers Drug Mart to its Loblaw retailing business helped push up the company's first-quarter revenue by 36.7 per cent to $10.41 billion.

George Weston's profit also rose sharply, with net income rising 39.2 per cent to $167 million or $1.23 per share.

Adjusted operating income was up 73.9 per cent at $586 million, including $541 million from Loblaw.

The smaller Weston Foods bakery business also contributed to the parent company's revenue growth, with sales rising by 12.2 per cent, but its adjusting operating income fell 13.5 per cent from the same time last year to $45 million.

Weston Foods said its profit margin was squeezed by higher input costs, new plant costs and investments in other improvements.

A year earlier, George Weston had $7.612 billion of revenue, mostly from Loblaw before its Shoppers acquisition, $337 million of adjusted operating income and $120 million or 86 cents per share of net income.

Weston said its dividend will rise 1.2 per cent or half a cent to 42.5 per common share.

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