Metro Reports Record Q2 Net Earnings

Canadian grocer Metro, Inc. posted net earnings of CAN $76.3 million (US $62.3 million) in the second quarter of fiscal 2009, vs. $54.0 million in 2008 (US $44.1 million) -- a record 41.3 percent increase -- and fully diluted net earnings per share of 68 cents compared with 48 cents last year, a rise of 41.7 percent.

2009 second-quarter sales came to CAN $2,549.7 million (US $2.1 billion), vs. $2,372.4 million (US $2.0 billion) in the year-ago period, an increase of 7.5 percent. Same-store sales went up 7.3 percent.

“Our strong sales and earnings growth in the second quarter are due to the efforts of our teams who have implemented effective merchandising programs and improved the efficiency of our operations,” said Eric R. La Flèche, president and CEO of Montreal-based Metro. “Our Ontario supermarket conversion plan is on schedule, with 89 of 159 stores converted to the Metro banner as of April 10, 2009, and we are pleased with the results so far. Despite the difficult economic environment, we are confident that we are well positioned to grow our business.”

Sales for the first 24 weeks of 2009 were CAN $5,150.2 million (US $4.2 billion), up 5.6 percent from sales of $4,879.2 million (US $4.0 billion) in the year-ago period.

Net earnings for the first 24 weeks of 2009 reached $157.4 million vs. $127.8 million last year, an increase of 23.2 percent.
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