METRO POSTS 2Q GAINS

MONTREAL -- Metro here last week said its merchandising strategies drove same-store sales gains in the company's food-retailing division of 3.6% and 3.3% in the second quarter and first half, respectively..S.), on a 4.1% increase in sales, to about $1.1 billion U.S.Labor disputes at some corporate stores reduced second-quarter and first-half sales by $11.3 million and $27.5 million, respectively.Excluding

MONTREAL -- Metro here last week said its merchandising strategies drove same-store sales gains in the company's food-retailing division of 3.6% and 3.3% in the second quarter and first half, respectively.

.S.), on a 4.1% increase in sales, to about $1.1 billion U.S.

Labor disputes at some corporate stores reduced second-quarter and first-half sales by $11.3 million and $27.5 million, respectively.

Excluding the labor conflict and the impact of $8.1 million in additional sales in each of the two quarters from an acquisition, sales would have been up 4.4% for the second quarter and 4.5% for the first half, the company said.

In the company's food-retailing division, sales increased 3.8% in the first half and 3.5% in the second quarter.

The company said it expanded or renovated 13 stores in the past year, and opened nine new stores. The company said it expected to have 55 of its Metro Plus stores open by year-end.

2nd-QUARTER RESULTS

Qtr Ended: 3/12/05; 3/10/04

Sales: $1.1 billion; $1 billion

Change: 4.1%

Comp-store: 3.6%*

Net income: $36 million; $32 million

Change: 14%

Inc/Share: 37 cents; 32 cents

24 Weeks: 2005; 2004

Sales: $2.3 billion; $2.2 billion

Change: 4%

Comp-store: 3.3%*

Net Income: $67.3 million; $59.1 million

Change: 14%

Inc/share: 70 cents; 60 cents

* Same-store sales for food retail only. All figures converted from Canadian dollars ($1 Canadian = 81 cents U.S.).