OSHAWA GROUP SALES, EARNINGS RISE IN SECOND QUARTER, HALF

ETOBICOKE, Ontario -- Oshawa Group here said sales and earnings from continuing operations rose for the second quarter and 28 weeks ended Sept. 8.lf. The company said net income from continuing operations rose 24.4% to $14.5 million for the quarter and 36.2% to $21.5 million for the year to date.The company said the comparisons exclude operating results for Pharma Plus, a drug store chain, and Lang's

ETOBICOKE, Ontario -- Oshawa Group here said sales and earnings from continuing operations rose for the second quarter and 28 weeks ended Sept. 8.

lf. The company said net income from continuing operations rose 24.4% to $14.5 million for the quarter and 36.2% to $21.5 million for the year to date.

The company said the comparisons exclude operating results for Pharma Plus, a drug store chain, and Lang's Cold Storage, which were sold last year. Incorporating those results, net income was up 19.8% for the quarter and 27.3% for the half.

The company said sales in its Agora grocery division increased 2.1% and the increase was limited by "the sizable influence of a labor strike [last year] at competitor Safeway on comparative results in western Canada and revenue losses from the closure of six unprofitable stores."

Oshawa said Agora recorded strong earnings advances in its Eastern and Central regions, while earnings in the Western region were lower because of inflated numbers there a year ago due to a competitor's strike.

Approximately $3.9 million in incremental costs were included in the Agora division during the quarter for expenditures related to year-2000 compliance and the rollout of a new technology infrastructure.

Oshawa said it opened 22 new stores, and converted nine stores of 5,000 to 15,000 square feet to a new format called Tradition Market Fresh Foods, a convenience store with an emphasis on fresh foods.

2nd-QUARTER RESULTS

Qtr. Ended 9/8/98 9/9/97

Sales $1.5 billion (U.S.) $1.4 billion

Change + 2.8%

Net Income $14.5 million $12.1 million

Change + 19.8%

Inc/Share 38 cents 32 cents

28 Weeks 1998 1997

Sales $2.5 billion $2.4 billion

Change + 3.9%

Net Income $21.5 million $16.9 million

Change + 27.3%

Inc/Share 56 cents 44 cents

Results are based on continuing operations only. All dollar figures are U.S. dollars at an exchange rate of $1 U.S. equals $1.55 Canadian.