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The pharmacy counter of a Jean Coutu store on Nun's Island in Montreal in 2013.

Christinne Muschi/The Globe and Mail

Quebec-based pharmacy company Jean Coutu Group says its third-quarter profit fell 10 per cent from a year earlier as increased expenses offset sales growth.

The company's net income was $56-million, down from $62.5-million, while net profit per share was flat at 30 cents.

The profit fell two cents short of analyst estimates of 32 cents per share, while revenue was above the consensus, according to data from Thomson Reuters.

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Revenue for the quarter ended Nov. 29 was up 3.4 per cent from the third quarter of fiscal 2014, rising to $736.7-million from $712.5-million, due to overall market growth and the expansion of Coutu's network of franchised stores.

On a same-store basis comparing locations open for more than a year, the network's retail sales were up 3.1 per cent overall with pharmacy sales up 3.8 per cent and front-end sales up 2.0 per cent.

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