MONTREAL — Canadian retailer Metro  here said deflationary pressure from competition ate into sales in the second fiscal quarter, although the company was able to post a 3.7% gain in earnings for the period.
"We are satisfied with the growth of our net earnings in the second quarter, although sales continued to be affected by food price deflation and lower drug pricing," said Eric R. La Fleche, president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement.
"Despite the difficult competitive environment, we are confident that we will continue our growth due to our effective merchandising, loyalty, and cost control programs," he continued.
Net income for the 12-week quarter, which ended March 12, totaled about $87 million (U.S.). Sales of about $2.68 billion were down 0.4% from year-ago levels, while same-store sales were up 0.2%.
For the 24-week, year-to-date span, net income of $183 million was down 1.7%, on a 0.5% decline in sales, to $5.35 billion.