Slowing traffic in its stores over the last few months didn’t keep Loblaw Companies Ltd. from reporting higher profit and revenue for the third quarter of 2019.
Revenue was $14.65 billion for the quarter, a 2.3 per cent increase over the $14.32 billion reported for the same period last year. Larger basket sizes were a major factor in boosting the numbers.
Profit was up substantially at $353 million, compared with $117 million for the third quarter of 2019 – when revenues were impacted by a one-time charge due to a tax court ruling.
Food retail same-store sales grew 0.1 per cent to $10.42 billion, from $10.27 billion in the same period last year – although Loblaw pointed out that excluding the unfavourable impact of the timing of Thanksgiving during the quarter, the increase In food retail same-store sales was actually 1.0 per cent. Drug retail rose 4.1 per cent to $4 billion, with that amount evenly split between pharmacy and front-of-store. Pharmacy same-store sales grew 5.3 per cent; front-of-store same-store sales rose 3.1 per cent. Same-store prescriptions dispensed increased by 2.9 per cent, as did the average prescription value (1.6 per cent).
The transcript of the earnings conference call is available here.