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Jean Coutu profit nearly triples Add to ...

Jean Coutu Group nearly tripled its profits in the second quarter as the Quebec-based pharmacy chain continued to recover from the effects of its investment in Rite-Aid.

The Montreal-area company, which is Quebec's largest pharmacy operator and one of the largest in Canada, reported profits of $42.6-million, or 18 cents per share, for the three-month period ended Aug. 28. That met analyst's per-share expectations, according to Thomson Reuters.

The results compared to a softer profit of $14.9-million a year earlier, equal to seven cents per share, when the company was still recording losses from its investment in U.S. pharmacy chain Rite Aid, which the company has since written off.

The year-earlier profit, before specific items and the Rite Aid loss, would have been $37.1-million or 16 cents per share.

Revenue increased 2.2 per cent to $622-million from $608.7-million, coming in short of Thomson Reuters' analyst consensus expectations of $649-million.

"By maintaining the pace of our expansion projects and implementing our business plan, we achieved the objectives we had set," said president and chief executive officer François Coutu in a release.

He noted that the company is still waiting for the provincial government to issue a decision related to Quebec's announcement of reduced price for generic drugs.

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