STELLARTON, Nova Scotia — Sobeys on Thursday posted increases in fourth-quarter and fiscal year sales and earnings, helped in part by an extra week in both periods as well as productivity initiatives and lower tax rates for its corporate parent, Empire Cos., based here.
Sobeys accounts for more than 98% of Empire's revenues and earnings. The retailer posted 14-week fourth-quarter sales of $4.2 billion (U.S.), an increase of 9.3% from the 13-week quarter in 2010. Adjusted for the extra week, sales increased 0.9%, and same-store sales increased 1%. For the 53-week fiscal year, sales of $16.2 billion (U.S.) increased 3.4% from the 52-week year. Adjusted for the extra week, annual sales improved 1.2%.
Sobeys in a statement attributed its improved performance to ongoing initiatives in support of its food-focused strategy including product and services innovations, productivity initiatives and system upgrades, including the transformation of its discount banner in Ontario to the FreshCo brand.
Quarterly EBITDA was up 12 basis points. Net earnings of $84.4 million (U.S.) for the quarter increased by 31.8%. Net earnings of $277.4 million for fiscal year increased by 2.7%.