Skip to main content

Metro reports fourth quarter profit and sales up from year ago


Metro Inc. said its fourth-quarter profit rose by more than 10% compared with a year ago, as the grocery and pharmacy retailer continued to see strong sales growth tied to the pandemic.

The company, which includes the Metro grocery store chain and Jean Coutu drug stores, said Wednesday it earned $186.5 million or 74 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Sept. 26.

The result compared with a profit of $167.4 million or 66 cents per diluted share in the same quarter last year.

For its full financial year, Metro said sales grew more than 7%, with net earnings up 11.5% to $796 million.

Metro chief executive Eric La Flèche called it a "strong performance across the board."

"After a strong first half of the year, our performance in the second half of the year was fuelled in part by the sales growth caused by the pandemic," he told analysts during a conference call.

LaFlèche said Metro expects food revenues will continue to grow at higher the normal rates over the short term as a portion of restaurant and food service sales continued to transfer to grocery stores.

For the quarter, LaFlèche said in-store traffic improved, but remained down significantly year-over-year.

But he said larger basket size more than offset the decrease in traffic.

Revenue for the 12-week period totalled $4.14 billion, up from nearly $3.86 billion.

Food same-store sales gained 10%, while pharmacy same-store sales rose 5.5%.

On an adjusted basis, Metro says it earned $193.1 million or 77 cents per share for the quarter, up from an adjusted profit of $174 million or 68 cents per share a year ago.

Metro operates a network of roughly 950 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as about 650 drugstores primarily under the Jean Coutu, Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds