Metro Inc. ended its fiscal year on a positive note with profit in the fourth quarter rising 15.4 per cent and same-store sales for food and pharmacy up 4.1 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively
Eric R. La Flèche, president and CEO of Metro Inc. says fourth quarter results capped an “outstanding fiscal 2019. We achieved strong comparable store sales in food and pharmacy, while delivering solid margins and improved customer satisfaction metrics. Our first full year with the Jean Coutu Group was successful and we are well on track to meet our $75 million synergy target. Despite an intense competitive environment, we are confident that we can continue to grow by staying customer-focused, investing in our store network and infrastructure, and executing well on our business plans."
Sales in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 reached $3,858.9 million, up 3.3 per cent compared to $3,736.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. Food same-store sales were up 4.1% (2.1% in 2018) and inflation in the company's food basket was approximately 2.8 per cent (0.8 per cent in 2018). Pharmacy same-store sales were up 3.4 per cent (1.8 per cent in 2018), with a 3.4 per cent increase in prescription drugs (number of prescriptions were up 2.4 per cent) and a 3.4 per cent increase in front-store sales.
Sales for fiscal 2019 totalled $16,767.5 million versus $14,383.4 million for fiscal 2018, an increase of 16.6 per cent. Excluding from fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2018 sales of $3,121.8 million and $1,157.7 million, respectively, generated by the Jean Coutu Group, sales were up 3.2 per cent.
During the analysts' conference call, La Flèche said the company plans to roughly double the number of stores with self checkouts during its 2020 financial year as the industry contends with a tight labour market.
“That’s why technology, like self checkout or shelf labels, helps in making the job simpler for our store people,” he said during the conference call as reported by a Canadian Business online story.