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A pedestrian walks past a Jean Coutu pharmacy in downtown Montreal.


The Jean Coutu Group , Quebec's largest drugstore chain, reports higher profit and rising revenue in the latest quarter.

The Montreal-area company said Friday its net profit in the fiscal third quarter rose to $51.7-million or 23 cents a share.

That compared with net earnings of $48.8-million or 21 cents a year ago.

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"The excellent performance of our organization and of our network translated into solid third-quarter fiscal 2012 results despite the deflationary impact of the introduction of the generic version of large volume drugs as well as the price reductions of generic drugs" François Coutu, president and CEO, said in a statement before stock markets opened Friday.

"We successfully continued to implement our business plan, allowing us to post a significant growth of our operating results."

The Jean Coutu Group employs nearly 19,000 people and operates a network of 395 franchised stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario under the banners of PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique, PJC Sante and PJC Sante Beaute.

The company also owns Pro Doc Ltd., a Quebec-based maker of generic drugs.

In the United States, Jean Coutu Group owns a minority stake in Rite Aid Corp., a national chain of 4,700 drugstores across the country.

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