TORONTO — Cost controls and buying efficiency helped Loblaw Cos. here improve profits by 20.4% during the third quarter, but deflation slowed sales.
Officials in a conference call on Tuesday said the company has begun heavy price investments at its banners to spark volume, but maintained a cautious outlook.
“We believe that inflation — or a lack of it — will be a factor for at least the next six months, restricting revenue growth,” Allen Leighton, president and deputy chairman of Loblaw, said. “Volume growth and market share will be key.”
Profits for the third quarter, which ended Oct. 10, totaled $178.7 million (U.S.) on sales of $9 billion. Overall sales fell by 0.2%, and same-store sales were down 0.6%.
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