LOBLAW'S EARNINGS CLIMB 17% WHILE VOLUME DECLINES BY 9%

TORONTO -- Sales at Loblaw Cos. here declined 9% for the first quarter, while net earnings jumped 17%.earlier, the company reported. Loblaw's sales fell roughly $200 million due to the sale of its U.S. retail business, National Tea Co., to Schnuck Markets, St. Louis, last year. Loblaw totaled $350 million (Canadian) in sales from its U.S. arm last year.By region, first-quarter sales in eastern Canada

TORONTO -- Sales at Loblaw Cos. here declined 9% for the first quarter, while net earnings jumped 17%.

earlier, the company reported. Loblaw's sales fell roughly $200 million due to the sale of its U.S. retail business, National Tea Co., to Schnuck Markets, St. Louis, last year. Loblaw totaled $350 million (Canadian) in sales from its U.S. arm last year.

By region, first-quarter sales in eastern Canada rose to $1.4 billion from $1.3 billion, and quarterly sales in western Canada climbed to nearly $700 million from $650 million. Improvements in the Atlantic-area retail business boosted sales growth in the East, while openings of new stores lifted sales in the West, said Loblaw.

1ST-QUARTER RESULTS

Qtr Ended 3/23/96 3/23/95

Sales $2.1 billion $2.3 billion

Change - 9%

Net Income $28.1 million $24.1 million

Change + 17%

Inc/Share 35 cents 30 cents

Note: All figures in Canadian dollars.