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Acquisitions, investment spark Metro Q4 results

Metro Inc. said sales in its fiscal fourth quarter improved by 3.9%, boosted by inflation and the acquisition of the Première Moisson bakery.

Same-store sales in the period, which ended Sept. 27, improved by 3.1%. Metro reported quarterly earnings of $102 million (U.S.), a 45.4% increase from the same period last year. When adjusted for restructuring charges taken in the previous period, earnings were up 6.2%. Revenues totaled $2.4 billion (U.S.). Quarterly sales and earnings per share figures were slightly above analyst estimates, according to Thomson Reuters.

“In a market that remains intensely competitive, our merchandising strategies and investments as well as the reorganization of our Ontario store network enabled us to increase sales,” Pierre LaFleche, Metro’s CEO, said in a statement.

The July acquisition of specialty bakery Première Moisson, operator of 23 stores and three production facilities, accounted for a 0.5% increase in sales, Metro said. The company estimated basket inflation of 2.5% in the quarter.


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For the fiscal year, sales of $10.2 billion (U.S.) improved by 1.7% while net earnings of $402 million (U.S.) were down by 35.2%.

In a separate announcement Wednesday, Metro said Réal Raymond will become chair of the company’s board of directors following the company’s annual meeting on Jan. 27, subject to his re-election as a director. Raymond will succeed Pierre H. Lessard, who will be retiring having reached the mandatory board retirement age.

Lessard served Metro for 24 years, first as president and CEO from 1990 to 2008 and since then as chairman. Raymond joined the Metro board in 2008 and is a former CEO of National Bank of Canada.

Also Wednesday, Metro said Paul Gobeil, vice-chair of the board since 1990, will retire having reached the mandatory retirement age, while John H. Tory has resigned from the board following his election as mayor of Toronto. The company said it would announce new board nominees in December.

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