Food Grocery store operator Metro Inc. reported soaring profits as recession-weary consumers shunned restaurants for home-cooked meals, helping to confirm the view that tough times are good for grocers and pharmacy retailers.
With its conventional and discount stores in Quebec and Ontario and a new line of private label products, Metro said it is well-positioned to take advantage of consumer angst as they look for value.
CEO Eric La Fleche said Thursday momentum is strongest at its discount Food Basics and Super C stores, although sales are also growing at its conventional banners.
The company earned $76.3 million or 68 cents per share for the quarter ended March 14, a record for the second quarter. Profits were up more than 41 per cent from year-earlier net earnings of $54 million or 48 cents per share.
Revenues rose 7.5 per cent to $2.55 billion.
Sales at locations open for at least a year — a key measure for retailers — surged 7.3 per cent for the quarter, aided by four per cent price inflation.