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Industry NewsGeorge Weston Q1 2020: COVID-19 spurs sharp spike in profit, revenue

George Weston Q1 2020: COVID-19 spurs sharp spike in profit, revenue


Not unexpectedly, George Weston Limited reported a significant increase in revenue and profit in its first quarter 2020 results, in part due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Profit available to common shareholders were $582 million versus $488 million in the same quarter in 2019. Revenue reached $12.3 billion, up from the close to $11.2 billion a year earlier.

“I am proud of our teams who have kept essential supermarkets and pharmacies open, bakery shelves stocked, and hundreds of properties safe and secure,” said chairman and CEO, Galen G. Weston. “We continue to make meaningful and necessary investments to ensure the well-being of our customers, colleagues, and tenants during these uncertain times. Looking ahead, each of our businesses is set to deliver long-term value creation from a position of operational strength and with a solid financial foundation when we transition to a new post-pandemic reality.”

George Weston states in its earnings release that first quarter financial results reflect an estimated increase revenue from the impact of COVID-19 of approximately $753 million.

“Loblaw experienced unprecedented consumer demand and stockpiling relating to COVID-19, with sales surging in the final two weeks of March. The result was both a sharp increase in revenue and profit followed by ramp-up in spending to protect and benefit its colleagues and customers.”

During the company’s quarterly earnings call with analysts, BNN Bloomberg reports that Richard Dufresne, chief executive of George Weston Ltd., said that “the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic continue. The story reports that Dufresne said “it’s difficult to predict how the company and its three operating segments will perform for the balance of the year amid the pandemic-related uncertainty” and noted the company’s withdrawal of its financial guidance early last month.

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