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George Weston Q2 profit up a year after tough pandemic quarter

Improved financial results boosted in part by the Toronto company's interests in Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Choice Properties REIT

George Weston Ltd. is reporting a profit in its latest quarter, a year after enduring its most difficult three months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Toronto-based company says its net income attributable to common shareholders was $108 million or 70 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss of $255 million or $1.66 per share a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, adjusted profits nearly doubled to $272 million or $1.78 per share, from $139 million or 91 cents per share in the second quarter of 2020.

Revenues for the three months ended June 19 increased 4% to $12.9 billion, from $12.4 billion in the prior year quarter.

George Weston, which holds large interests in Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Choice Properties REIT, was expected to report $251 million or $1.87 per share in adjusted profits on $12.7 billion of revenues, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

The company says Loblaw delivered a strong financial performance in the quarter with revenues growing despite enjoying unprecedented demand the previous year as customers stockpiled groceries at the start of the pandemic, while Choice Properties collected 98% of rents despite regional lockdowns.

"We are pleased with the performance of our businesses as they lapped the most difficult quarter of the pandemic, with each delivering operational and financial improvements," said chairman and CEO Galen Weston, in a news release.

"As economies continue to reopen in the second half of the year, our businesses are well-positioned to execute on their plans."

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