For the third quarter of fiscal 2019, Metro Inc. has reported sales of $5.23 billion, up 12.8 per cent – 2.3 per cent excluding the Jean Coutu Group. Sales were $4.64 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2018.
For the quarter, same-store food sales were up 3.1 per cent while same-store pharmacy sales rose 3.4 per cent.
Metro reported a profit of $222.4 million, a substantial increase from the $167.5 million reported in the same quarter of fiscal 2018. The profit came to 86 cents per diluted share for the quarter, well up from 69 cents for the same period in fiscal 2018. On an adjusted basis, those figures are 90 cents and 75 cents respectively.
During a conference call following the announcement of the results, Metro CEO Eric La Fleche told analysts that Metro plans to speed up its adoption of in-store technology to lower labour costs. La Fleche said that the company plans to have self-service checkout systems up and running in 100 stores by the end of September, and in 100 more stores a year after that.
The company also plans to install electronic shelf labels in 32 stores this year and another 67 next year, Canadian Press reports.
"We are accelerating because the financial returns are better," La Fleche said. "The combination of factors that are motivating us to speed it up: because they're addressing business needs, customer needs and providing decent returns."