Loblaw Companies Limited fourth quarter 2019 results showed growth in revenue and same-store sales for retail and drug divisions, but the results fell short of analysts' expectations, according to several business reports.
"Our results reflect the challenges of a competitive marketplace, met with a strong strategic plan. Sales have been hard-won," said executive chairman Galen Weston on a call with analysts.
"At the same time, our industry is in a transitional phase with new cost pressures, potential competitive disruption and exciting new opportunities."
Revenue reached $11,590 million, a 3.3 per cent increase from the same period in 2018. The growth included retail segment sales increases in food and drug retail. Food retail (Loblaw) same-store sales growth was 1.9 per cent, while drug retail (Shoppers Drug Mart) same-store sales growth was 3.9 per cent, with pharmacy same-store sales growth of 6.1 per cent and front store same-store sales growth of 2.2 per cent.
"Our sales trajectory continued to improve through the fourth quarter, completing a year in which we achieved our financial targets and made significant strategic investments," Weston added, noting that the company "will continue these investments through 2020, positioning Loblaw to deliver long-term shareholder value."
A bright spot was e-commerce sales, an area that Loblaw has focused on, which resulted in more than $1 billion in e-commerce sales in 2019, almost double the previous year, according to Sarah Davis, president of Loblaw, who stated the growth was across the board from food, mass and prestige cosmetics to prescription and caregiver services.