STELLARTON, Nova Scotia — Newly acquired and newly renovated stores, as well as effective sales and merchandising initiatives, lifted sales at Sobeys by 4.8% during the second quarter ended Nov. 3, Sobeys’ parent company said Thursday. The food division of Empire Cos. reported sales of $3.3 billion (U.S.), with around $101 million in new sales coming from its recent acquisitions of British Columbia-based chain Thrifty Foods and from Quebec-based wholesasler ADL. The Sobeys division contributed operating income of $88.9 million, up 13.7%. Bill McEwan, chief executive officer of Sobeys, in a conference call said the company experienced deflationary pressures as promotional activity remained extremely high in Ontario and also spread to Western Canada. “In spite of some persistent challenges, and in spite of some rather radical competitive activity, we continue to make progress,” he said. Empire, a holding company controlled by the Sobey family that also has interests in real estate and other investments, said overall net income increased 4.7% to $57.5 million.
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