Loblaw Companies Ltd. sees increase in profits in first-quarter, in an April 29, 2020 story. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Loblaw reports Q1 profit and sales up as customers stockpiled supplies

Protecting workers costs company

BRAMPTON, Ont. — Loblaw Companies Ltd. reported its first-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago as shoppers stockpiled supplies due to the pandemic, however it said costs also rose as it ramped up spending to protect its workers and customers.

The company, which owns Loblaws grocery stores and the Shoppers Drug Mart chain, says it earned a profit attributable to common shareholders of $240 million or 66 cents per share for the 12-week period ended March 21.

That compared with a profit of $198 million or 53 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

Revenue totalled $11.8 billion, up from nearly $10.7 billion in the first quarter of 2019.

Food retail same-stores sales rose 9.6 per cent, while drug retail same-store sales climbed 10.7 per cent as pharmacy same-store sales rose 10.6 per cent and front store same-store sales gained 10.7 per cent.

On an adjusted basis, Loblaw says it earned $352 million or 97 cents per share, up from $290 million or 78 cents per share a year earlier.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2020.

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