Loblaw Companies Ltd.

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.

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