STELLARTON, Nova Scotia -- Sobeys here said it achieved record quarterly net earnings for the first quarter ended Aug. 4.
6.3% to $1.9 billion.
The company said all regions of the country contributed to its growth in sales, with both food distribution and food-service sales increasing 6.3% for the quarter, while same-store sales rose 4.6%.
Investment in property and equipment totaled $30.6 million in the quarter, compared with $17.3 million in last year's first quarter. During the quarter, seven new or replacement supermarkets, averaging 30,300 square feet, opened along with one new convenience store.
An additional 11 stores were expanded, and another 33 were renovated or rebannered. Bill McEwan, Sobeys president and chief executive officer, said the company is comfortable with analysts' forecasts of fiscal 2002 earnings per share of between $1.24 and $1.27.
He commented, "We are at the front end of realizing the full benefits of various margin-enhancing and cost-reduction initiatives in the areas of distribution and logistics, national merchandising and procurement, and in streamlining selling, general and administrative expenses."