Canadian food retailer Metro has reported C$468.1m ($349.0m) in operating income before depreciation and amortisation in the first quarter of fiscal 2024, up 1.3% from the same period in the fiscal year 2023 (FY 2023).
During the quarter ending 23 December 2023, Metro’s net earnings stood at C$228.5m, a slight decrease from C$231.1m in Q1 FY23.
Fully diluted net earnings per share saw an increase, rising from C$0.97 to C$0.99, up by 2.1%.
Sales for the quarter reached C$4.974bn, marking a 6.5% increase from the first quarter of the previous year.
The retailer’s food same-store sales grew by 6.1%, and pharmacy same-store sales increased by 3.9% with prescription drugs sales up by 6.6%, while front-store sales experienced a 1.2% decline.
The company also reported a significant 105.0% increase in online food sales, driven largely by higher partnership sales.
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Operating expenses as a percentage of sales were reported at 10.2% during the quarter, marking a slight increase from 9.8% in the corresponding quarter of FY23.
The company’s gross margin remained stable at 19.6%, mirroring the percentage achieved in the same quarter of the previous year.
Metro president and chief executive officer Eric La Flèche stated: “We recorded solid results in the first quarter as our teams continued to deliver good value to customers in all our food and pharmacy banners.
“Our discount food stores continue to grow their sales at a faster pace, private label penetration reached new heights and our loyalty programme now has 2.5 million members, double the size of Metro&Moi.
“The opening our new 600,000ft² automated fresh and frozen distribution centre in Terrebonne in October was a success and the ramp-up of operations is on track with our plan and the guidance given in November. We are confident that our sustained investments in the modernisation of our supply chain and our retail networks will continue to create long term value for our shareholders.”
For fiscal 2024, the retailer expects operating income before depreciation and amortisation to increase by less than 2% and adjusted net earnings per share to fall to $0.10 against the previous fiscal year.