STELLARTON, Nova Scotia — Empire Company here said Thursday the acquisition of 236 Shell gas stations and convenience stores late last year helped boost first-quarter sales at Sobeys by 9.8%, to $4.6 billion (U.S.). Excluding sales of $264.7 million related to the c-stores, Sobeys' sales in the 13-week quarter, which ended Aug. 4,  were up 3.6%, and same-store sales rose 1.8%, while net earnings increased 18.9% to $99.5 million. During the quarter Sobeys accounted for ...

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