Empire Company Ltd. the parent company of Sobeys, Safeway and Freshco, beat market expectations, reporting sales of $6.03 billion, up from $5.89 billion in 2017.
Attributing the results to cost cutting measures reported last year, CEO Michael Medline also noted in news reports in the National Post and CBC that the company is on track with its online grocery delivery plans with British Firm Ocado, noting in the National Post it will roll out its online delivery model in 2020.
Results beat analyst expectations. Revenue and profits were both up over the same quarter last year. Empire earned $58.1 million for the quarter, and same-store sales (excluding fuel) rose 1.1% to $6.03 B.
Empire also announced that the first phase of “Project Sunrise,” a three year project to simplify organizational structure and reduce costs by $500 M by 2020, is proceeding on track. Medline attributed the turnaround to the three-year cost-cutting initiative. In a National Post story, he says "this has been achieved against the backdrop of making tough long-term decisions to restructure and grow our company."
The company earned 33 cents per diluted share, well above the 13 cents posted a year ago. The average analyst expectation had been 25 cents per diluted share.