Empire Co. Ltd. has released its financial results for the fourth quarter and the full year ended May 5, 2018.
For the quarter, Empire recorded adjusted net earnings, net of controlling interest, of $93 M, compared to $50.2 M last year.
Sales rose 1.7 per cent for the 52 weeks ended May 5, 2018. Excluding related businesses, same-store sales for food increased and estimated food tonnage sold was consistent with last year. The rise in same-store sales was driven by more disciplined pricing strategies compared to deflationary pricing strategies in the prior year.
Gross profit increased by 3.4 per cent for the year.
Sales rose 1.5 per cent for the 13 weeks ended May 5, 2018, supported by positive food inflation – although same-store sales were consistent with last year. Gross profit increased by 2.1 per cent for the quarter.
Sales were affected by an aggressive industry promotional environment and the effect of winding down ten underperforming stores in British Columbia. These stores are scheduled to close in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.
Operating income increased for the quarter and for the 52 weeks ended May 5, 2018. Improved sales and margins supported the increase, as did benefits from Project Sunrise, a three-year transformation plan launched in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 to simplify organizational structure and reduce costs.