LOBLAW CALLS FISCAL YEAR A 'SPECTACULAR' PERFORMANCE

TORONTO (FNS) -- Loblaw Cos. Ltd. here turned in what the company termed a "spectacular" performance in the 52-week fiscal year ended Jan. 1, 2000, with profit for the year increasing 43.9% to $259 million. (The conversion rate was US$1=CDN$1.45.)Loblaw acquired in a separate deal earlier in the same month."The integrations of Provigo and Agora have proceeded well and provided steadily improving sales

TORONTO (FNS) -- Loblaw Cos. Ltd. here turned in what the company termed a "spectacular" performance in the 52-week fiscal year ended Jan. 1, 2000, with profit for the year increasing 43.9% to $259 million. (The conversion rate was US$1=CDN$1.45.)

Loblaw acquired in a separate deal earlier in the same month.

"The integrations of Provigo and Agora have proceeded well and provided steadily improving sales and earnings contributions," according to a company statement.

For the year, sales increased 51% to $13 billion. Excluding Provigo and Agora, sales improved by $816,000 or 10%. The sales growth included a same-store sales increase of more than 4% and the effect of a capital investment program of more than $500 million.

In the third quarter, Loblaw recorded final adjustments related to the sale of 44 stores, mostly Loeb outlets in Ontario formerly owned by Provigo, resulting in proceeds of $125 million.

For the fourth quarter, earnings increased 55.4% to $101 million, and sales rose 39.1% to $3.2 billion.