STELLARTON, Nova Scotia -- Sobeys here said last week it expects some displacement and redeployment of personnel in its Ontario region as it begins to upgrade information technology systems there during 2006.
Speaking with analysts to discuss financial results for the year and fourth quarter that ended May 7, Bill McEwan, president and chief executive officer, said the systems are designed to simplify, standardize and streamline buying, merchandising, warehouse management, and financial capabilities and efficiencies to support the company's food-focused strategy.
Implementation is expected to be completed over the course of the year, he noted, following successful implementation of similar systems in its Atlantic Canada region. Pieces of the systems are likely to follow in the chain's Quebec and western Canada regions, he added.
In response to a question, McEwan declined to comment on whether Sobeys has any interest in pursuing an acquisition of stores operated by A&P in Canada.
For the 14-week quarter, net income climbed 25.6% to $38.9 million (U.S.) on a sales increase of 17.5% to $2.7 billion. Same-store sales rose 4.5%.
Net income for the 53-week fiscal year was up 12.6% to $151.1 million. Sales rose 10.3% to $9.9 billion (U.S.), including $195.1 million from the extra week and $137 million from a change in Canadian accounting standards relating to consolidation of "variable interest entities" (customers in which a supplier has a financial interest). Comparable-store sales increased 3.7%.
The company said net earnings for the year and fourth quarter were favorably impacted by approximately $2.8 million, or 4 cents per share, as a result of including the 14th week of operating results in the quarter.
*All results stated in U.S. dollars. **Fiscal 2005 was a 53-week year with a 14-week fourth quarter; fiscal 2004 was a 52-week year with a 13-week fourth quarter.