METRO REPORTS SALES, EARNINGS INCREASE

MONTREAL -- Metro here last week said merchandising strategies and retail investments helped sustain sales growth amid tough competition during the fiscal third quarter that ended July 2.e span.Labor conflicts at some stores, a loss of food-service customers and a decrease in tobacco sales were offset some by the addition of 15 Metro stores acquired during the quarter, the company said.Excluding these

MONTREAL -- Metro here last week said merchandising strategies and retail investments helped sustain sales growth amid tough competition during the fiscal third quarter that ended July 2.

e span.

Labor conflicts at some stores, a loss of food-service customers and a decrease in tobacco sales were offset some by the addition of 15 Metro stores acquired during the quarter, the company said.

Excluding these events, sales increased 4.4% for the quarter, and same-store sales increased 3.7%, Metro said.

Earnings of $47 million increased 12.9%. Earnings of 58 Canadian cents per share increased from 51 cents a year ago and outperformed analyst estimates by a penny.