EARNINGS RISE AT METRO

MONTREAL -- Metro here said the positive impact of centralized purchasing, investments in new technology systems and improved productivity helped boost earnings for the second quarter and first half ended March 16.f to $1.5 billion. Same-store sales climbed 4.1% for the quarter and 4.5% for the half.Earnings comparisons were impacted by a one-time tax savings a year ago of $376.6 million due to a

MONTREAL -- Metro here said the positive impact of centralized purchasing, investments in new technology systems and improved productivity helped boost earnings for the second quarter and first half ended March 16.

f to $1.5 billion. Same-store sales climbed 4.1% for the quarter and 4.5% for the half.

Earnings comparisons were impacted by a one-time tax savings a year ago of $376.6 million due to a reduction in the tax rate on future taxes; excluding that charge from the comparison, Metro said net earnings grew 27.5% for the quarter and 25.3% for the year to date.