Briefing

Loblaw beats profit estimates on higher sales

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Canada’s biggest grocer saw adjusted gross profits rise 2.6 per cent in the last quarter to $3.25 billion. Same-store sales grew 1.7 per cent, with total revenue hitting $11.22 billion, up from $10.99 billion the previous quarter. Net profit for shareholders rose 59 cents per share, compared to the eight-cents-per-share increase over the same quarter a year earlier. (Reuters)

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Talking point: The results were better than analysts expected, and may bolster investors’  confidence in the food and drug retailer’s ability to compete with Amazon. To do that, Loblaw is focusing on home delivery in partnership with online grocery chain Instacart. And, in December 2018, it launched a Prime-style membership program. Loblaws isn’t just playing catch-up to Amazon: it’s been ahead of the e-retail giant in health and pharmaceuticals in Canada, with acquisitions of Shoppers Drug Mart in 2013 and health tech company QHR in 2016.