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Revenue Up at Loblaw

Food retail same-stores sales rose by 2% in Q4
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Loblaws Great Food
Loblaw delivered another quarter of strong operational and financial results.

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. has released results for its 2023 fourth quarter and fiscal year, ended Dec. 30, 2023.

The Canadian retail giant increased revenue by 3.7% during Q4. According to the company, its value proposition, private label brands and personalized PC Optimum offers continued to resonate with customers seeking quality and value. This resulted in traffic growth and continued market share momentum in food retail. The company recorded an internal food inflation lower than Canada’s food CPI again this quarter, demonstrating the impact of its continuing investments in value. 

Loblaw’s retail segment sales rose to 3.4% in the quarter. Food retail (Loblaw) same-stores sales grew by 2.0%. Drug retail (Shoppers Drug Mart) same-store sales increased by 4.6%, with front store same-store sales growth of 1.7% and pharmacy and health care services same-store sales growth of 8.0%.

Drug retail sales reflected continued strength in front store beauty products, and strong sales of cough and cold medications. Loblaw said that Canadians reacted positively to the convenience and level of care offered across the company’s 74 new pharmacy-based clinics, resulting in strong growth of new pharmacist-led health care services.

E-commerce sales jumped 14.6% in Q4. Loblaw’s operating income was CAD $943 million, an increase of 8.3%. Adjusted EBITDA was CAD $1,633 million, a 9.4% rise.

“We are very pleased to deliver another year of consistent operational and financial performance, reflecting our ongoing focus on retail excellence,” said Per Bank, president and CEO of Loblaw. “Canadians continue to recognize the superior value and service we provide across our network, something all 220,000 of our colleagues are proud to deliver each and every day.”

Net earnings available to common shareholders of the company were CAD $541 million, a 2.3% uptick. Diluted net earnings per common share were CAD $1.72, an increase of 6.2%.

Meanwhile, highlights for fiscal ’23 include a 5.4% revenue increase. E-commerce sales were approximately CAD $3.3 billion, a 10.7% rise.

Net earnings available to common shareholders of Loblaw were CAD $2,088 million, an increase of 9.4%. Diluted net earnings per common share were CAD $6.52, an increase of 13.4%.

Loblaw recently revealed that it will significantly grow its store network this year as part of a record CAD $2 billion capital investment plan. That includes more than 40 new stores, the expansion or relocation of an additional 10 stores, and renovations to more than 700 existing banner locations.

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. is the largest retailer and private-sector employer in Canada, operating 2,500 stores and national e-commerce options. The company's loyalty program, PC Optimum, has more than 18 million members. The Brampton, Ontario-based company is No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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