MONTREAL (FNS) -- Metro-Richelieu Inc. here said net earnings for the second quarter ended March 13 totaled $12.3 million ($18.7 million Canadian), an increase of 14 per cent from a year earlier. Sales rose 6.3 per cent to $563.7 million.
Profit for the first six months was $24.8 million, up 11.6 per cent from the previous year, while sales were $1.1 billion, an increase of 6.6 per cent.
During the first half, capital expenditures were $25.3 million to renovate seven stores, expand 17 sites and open seven new outlets.
Over and above store closings, the company added a net increase of 240,000 square feet of retail space.
Metro-Richelieu sat out the recent wave of Canadian retail consolidation -- the merger of Loblaw Cos. Ltd. and Provigo Inc., and Sobeys Inc. with the Oshawa Group. Metro-Richelieu still has the option of acquiring 92 Loeb stores in Ontario that Loblaw said it would shed to satisfy the federal Competition Bureau.
Pierre Lessard, Metro-Richelieu's president and chief executive officer, said the company "will pursue its growth by continuing to improve the quality of its retail network and to implement merchandising programs well suited to the needs of consumers."