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Empire Co. profit, revenue soar on acquisitions, internal growth

One of Sobeys' Urban Fresh locations in Toronto.

Simon Hayter/The Globe and Mail

The Nova Scotia-based company best known for its Sobeys grocery stores showed a sharp jump in profit and revenue in its most recent quarter, thanks in part to the acquisition of more than 200 retail gas locations and convenience stores.

Empire Company Ltd. says its first-quarter profit rose to $108.9-million or $1.60 per share, up from $89.2-million or $1.31 per share a year earlier.

Revenue for the company, based in Stellarton, N.S., was up 9.7 per cent to $4.56-billion, largely because of the addition of 236 retail gas locations and convenience stores.

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Excluding the acquisitions, Empire's revenue for the quarter ended Aug. 4 was up 3.5 per cent from a year earlier.

In the comparable period last year, Empire had $4.1-billion of revenue and 89.2 million or $1.31 of net earnings net of minority interest.

The Sobey's retail division accounted for most of Empire's revenue – $4.51-billion in the first quarter of the current financial year, up $145.8-million from the same time last year after excluding the recently acquired locations.

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