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Loblaw Companies Limited increased third quarter 2020 profit and same store sales, surpassing analysts’ expectations with ecommerce sales hitting a high of 175 per cent growth across grocery, pharmacy and apparel e-commerce platforms.

Net earnings increased to $342 million. When compared to the third quarter of 2019, it represents an $11 million increase (3.3 per cent). Food retail same-store sales gained 6.9 per cent in the quarter, while drug retail (Shoppers Drug Mart) same-store sales climbed 6.1 per cent, with pharmacy same-store sales growth of 10.3 per cent and front store same-store sales growth of 2.4 per cent.

“Loblaw delivered strong operating performance in the quarter, while investing in providing exceptional value, safety and convenience,” said Galen Weston, executive chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited. “We continued to build for the future, expanding our digital network and leveraging our PC Optimum loyalty program to create even more value for Canadian families.”

With food retail same-store sales continuing at “elevated levels” with the 6.9 per cent growth in the quarter, specifically the Market division delivered strong growth of 9.7 per cent and the discount division delivered 4.7 per cent growth.

Pandemic costs

Loblaw invested approximately $85 million in COVID-19 related costs in the quarter primarily to ensure the safety and security of customers and colleagues.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated certain longer-term trends, enabling the company to advance its strategic growth areas of Everyday Digital, Connected Healthcare and Payments and Rewards.

Strategic expansion

In September, Loblaw made two important announcements in its strategic growth areas of Payments and Rewards and Connected Health. The Company launched the PC Money Account, a simple no-fee way to do everyday banking, turning the act of paying bills and shopping into a way to receive PC Optimum rewards.

As it continues to build out its Connected Health strategy, Loblaw also announced an investment in Maple Corporation and the launch of a PC Health app. Together, these two initiatives form part of the company’s next generation digital health platform that will provide Canadians with a new, personalized healthcare experience by leveraging the power of Loblaw’s existing national healthcare network, extensive professional care services and loyalty program to deliver a personalized healthcare solution for Canadians.

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