Skip to main content

Report on Business Metro quarterly sales grow more than 15 per cent, boosted by acquisition of Jean Coutu Group

A woman walks pass a Metro grocery store in Toronto on Nov. 1, 2017.

Doug Ives/The Canadian Press

Metro Inc. saw sales grow more than 15 per cent in its first full quarter since acquiring the Jean Coutu Group pharmacy chain.

“The Jean Coutu integration plan is on track,” said CEO Eric La Fleche during a conference call with analysts Wednesday.

The grocery retailer acquired the pharmacy operator in May, 2018, for about $4.5-billion.

Story continues below advertisement

The acquisition helped boost Metro’s sales by 15.7 per cent to $3.74-billion for its fourth quarter, a 12-week period ending Sept. 29, compared to the same quarter the previous year, which lasted 13 weeks.

Sales rose 2.5 per cent excluding Jean Coutu and the extra week. Food same-store sales, a key retail metric, increased 2.1 per cent, while pharmacy same-store sales advanced 1.8 per cent.

Jean Coutu pharmacies have started to carry some of Metro’s private-label Selection and Irresistibles products, Mr. La Fleche said.

Metro grocery stores will soon stock some of Jean Coutu’s private label personal care and beauty line, he said.

“I think we have some time ahead of us to realize the full potential of this combination,” Mr. La Fleche said.

The company is also doing some tests with offering fresh food at Jean Coutu and sees an opportunity to one day sell meal kits at its drugstores.

“It positions us better than ever to service, especially Quebec customers, for their everyday needs,” he said, adding hopefully they’ll shop at Metro’s stores daily for food, as well as health and beauty needs.

Story continues below advertisement

The company earned $145-million in the quarter, amounting to 56 cents per diluted share. That’s compared with a profit of $154.9-million or 66 cents per diluted share in the same quarter last year.

On an adjusted basis, Metro says it earned $161-million or 63 cents per share in the quarter, up from $131.1-million or 56 cents per share a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 63 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

For the full year, the company’s net earnings surged to $1.72-billion on $14.4-billion in revenues, up from $608.4-million on $13.2-billion in revenues in 2017. Adjusted profits grew 10.5 per cent to $605.9-million or $2.52 per diluted share, compared with $548.2-million or $2.31 per share a year earlier.

Metro’s shares rose $1.72 or four per cent at $44.54 in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter