George Weston Limited reports it lost $255 million in its latest quarter despite a 6.5 per cent increase in revenues, attributing the loss to COVID-19 related costs.
"In a challenging environment, the fundamental strength of our market-leading businesses was evident in the quarter," states Galen G. Weston, chairman and CEO, George Weston Limited. "Our businesses in retail, real estate and consumer goods continued to take thoughtful and deliberate actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, delivered essential goods and services to customers, tenants and communities, all while remaining committed to our longer-term strategic priorities."
The company says it incurred about $312 million in COVID-19 related costs, primarily from Loblaw Companies Limited, but also Weston Foods and Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust.
Galen says that at the onset of the crisis, the temporary close of in-store bakeries and non-essential businesses including restaurants combined with social distancing protocols, “negatively impacted retail sales and foodservice sales.”
In addition to the decline in sales, “Weston Foods incurred COVID-19 costs relating to temporary employee pay premiums and pay protection safeguards and increased health and safety measures to protect its colleagues. The pandemic has required Weston Foods to act swiftly in response to challenges, however, the business remains well positioned to respond to consumer demand for quality baked goods and to advance its growth categories.”