Empire Company Ltd.

Empire Company’s cost-saving initiatives and corporate transformation appear to be paying off with the company reporting its “strongest quarter since we began the transformation of Empire,” says Michael Medline, president and CEO.

In its filings for the second quarter of fiscal 2019, Empire reported same-store sales increased by 2.5 per cent and a second consecutive quarter of tonnage growth. And it surpassed market expectations, reporting a profit of $103.8 million in its second quarter results compared to a loss in the same period last year.

"In what has been our strongest quarter since we began the transformation of Empire, we are extremely pleased with the top and bottom line numbers...Our trajectory and momentum continue to trend in the right direction with strong sales and tonnage growth, stabilized margins, a significant decline in our costs, and a 48 per cent earnings improvement," Medline said in a statement.

"We have a ways to go, but we are setting ourselves up for long-term success through strategic moves such as Project Sunrise, FreshCo 2.0, our Ocado-driven e-commerce platform and the recent acquisition of Farm Boy."

Project Sunrise, the corporate transformation plan Medline launched last year, is on track and expected to generate at least $500 million in annualized benefits by the end of fiscal 2020. Empire says it realized about 20 per cent of these benefits during fiscal 2018, and anticipates up to a further 30 per cent will be realized during fiscal 2019, principally during the second half of the year.

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