George Weston Ltd. reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2019 at its annual general meeting of shareholders earlier this week. Thanks to a one-time accounting change related to its holdings in the Choice Properties REIT, the company posted a quarterly loss of $488 million, compared with a $180 million profit for Q1 2018.
As Loblaw reported last week, sales were up 3.1 per cent in the quarter at $10.66 billion, with same store food retail sales growing 2.0 per cent during the quarter. Food retail traffic was relatively flat although basket size increased.
George Weston says that it is making “meaningful progress” in its ongoing corporate transformation plan, which was unveiled at the last AGM. While the project is helping to stabilize the company, a decline in sales in the third quarter prompted the decision to scale back on the number of offerings that will be discontinued, from 1000 to 800.
"George Weston's three businesses in retail, real estate and consumer goods performed well in the first quarter,” said president and CEO Galen G. Weston. “Loblaw delivered continued strong operational performance, gaining traction on its key priorities and accelerating investments. Choice Properties delivered solid financial and operational results. Weston Foods delivered results in line with our expectations as the business continues to stabilize."