Integration Savings Boost Metro's Results

MONTREAL -- Savings generated from the integration of A&P's Canadian business are helping Metro Inc. weather pricing and sales pressures in Ontario, the retailer here said Wednesday.

MONTREAL -- Savings generated from the integration of A&P's Canadian business are helping Metro Inc. weather pricing and sales pressures in Ontario, the retailer here said Wednesday. Metro said it has completed the rollout of common systems at Metro warehouses and has begun integrating stores to a common IT platform at a rate of 17 per week. The company is on pace to realize $79 million (U.S.) in savings as a result of the 2005 A&P purchase during fiscal 2007, officials said, up from earlier estimates of $70.8 million. Reduced cost of goods as a result of volume buying has been the biggest contributor to savings, Eric LaFleche, executive vice president and chief operating officer, said. Metro said sales for its fiscal second quarter, which ended March 17, decreased 2.3% to $2 billion. When adjusted for the Christmas holiday, which fell in the first quarter this year but in the second quarter last year, sales increased by 3%. Net income in the quarter increased 8.4%, to $54.7 million.