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    Canada’s Metro Sees Record 3Q Sales, Profits

    Canadian grocer Metro, Inc. cited streamlined operations in its Ontario operations as the main driver of its record-high sales and 22.5 percent jump in profits for its fiscal third quarter ended July 4.

    Canadian grocer Metro, Inc. cited streamlined operations in its Ontario operations as the main driver of its record-high sales and 22.5 percent jump in profits for its fiscal third quarter ended July 4.

    “Building on the momentum of our first half of the year, we are very pleased with our results for the third quarter of 2009, which prove that our strategies are effective in the current economic environment,” said Eric R. La Flèche, president and CEO of Montreal-based Metro. “Our Ontario supermarket conversion plan is on schedule, with 128 of 159 stores converted to the Metro banner as of July 24, 2009. We are confident that we are well positioned to continue to grow our business in an always challenging marketplace.”

    Last year, the grocer began consolidating its five Ontario supermarket banners under the Metro brand and upgraded key technology systems to increase efficiencies.

    Metro’s sales for the quarter were CAN $3.5 billion (US $3.3 billion), up 4.3 percent from last year’s CAN $3.37 billion (US $3.1 billion). Excluding decreased sales due to the non-renewal of a convenience store chain supply contract, third quarter sales increased by 5.2 percent. Same store sales increased by 4.2 percent for the period.

    Sales for the first 40 weeks of 2009 reached CAN $8.7 billion (US $8.1 billion), up 5 percent from last year’s CAN $8.2 billion (US $7.6 billion). Excluding decreased sales due to the nonrenewal of a convenience store chain supply contract, sales increased by 5.9 percent.

    Metro’s third-quarter profits were CAN $112.6 million (US $104.5 million), an increase of 22.5 percent from CAN $91.9 million (US $85.3 million) in 2008. Adjusted profits for the first 40 weeks of 2009 increased 31.1 percent to CAN $273.1 million (US $253.4 million), from CAN $208.3 million (US $193.3 million) last year.

    Metro operates approximately 600 food stores under the banners of Metro, Metro Plus, A&P, Super C, and Food Basics, as well as over 250 drugstores under the Brunet, Clini Plus, The Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners.

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