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    Sobeys Completes Thrifty Foods Buy; Parent's Profit Doubles on Investment Sales

    STELLARTON, N.S. -- Sobeys, Inc. here said this week that it has finalized the purchase of Central Saanich, B.C.-based Thrifty Foods, which includes 20 grocery stores, as well as a distribution center.

    STELLARTON, N.S. -- Sobeys, Inc. here said this week that it has finalized the purchase of Central Saanich, B.C.-based Thrifty Foods, which includes 20 grocery stores, as well as a distribution center.

    Plans for the acquisition, for CAN $260 million (US $251 million), were disclosed in July.

    Sobeys also named Alex A. Campbell chairman emeritus of Thrifty Foods. Campbell will additionally sit on the Thrifty Foods advisory board.

    "Alex Campbell's appointment as chairman emeritus of Thrifty Foods reflects the leadership role he has played in the growth and development of this business and to the broader grocery retailing industry in Canada," said Sobeys president and c.e.o. Bill McEwan in a statement.

    In other Sobeys news, its parent company, Empire Co., Ltd., reported that first-quarter profit more than doubled after it sold investments to finance the purchase of the 28 percent of the food retailer it didn't already own, for CAN $1.06 billion (US $1.02 billion).

    First-quarter profit increased to CAN $142.3 million (US $137.3 million), or CAN $2.16 a share, from CAN $53.3 million (US $51.4 million), or CAN 81 cents, last year, according to Empire. That figure includes CAN $81.9 million (US $79.0 million) in proceeds from selling investments.

    Revenue rose 4.1 percent to CAN $3.52 billion (US $3.40 billion) from the year-ago period.

    Same-store sales at Sobeys climbed 3.5 percent.

    "Sobeys continues to generate solid same-store sales growth as a result of its merchandising and productivity initiatives," noted Empire president and c.e.o. Paul Sobey. Those initiatives include business process and system implementation and business rationalization.

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