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Empire Co. Ltd. reports fourth quarter profit up, raises dividend

Same-store sales were up 3.2% for the most recent quarter, compared with 0.5% a year ago.


STELLARTON, N.S.—Empire Co. Ltd. raised its dividend as it reported a profit of $122.1 million in its latest quarter, up from $71.0 million in the same quarter last year.

The company behind the Sobeys and Safeway grocery stores says it will increase its quarterly payment to shareholders by a penny to 12 cents per share.

The improved dividend came as Empire reported its profit amounted to 45 cents per share for the 13 weeks ended May 4, compared with 26 cents per share a year earlier.

Sales in what was the company’s fourth quarter grew to $6.22 billion compared with $5.89 billion. Same-store sales were up 3.2% for the most recent quarter, compared with 0.5% a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, Empire said it earned $126.5 million or 46 cents per share for the quarter, up from an adjusted profit of $93.0 million or 35 cents per share a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 42 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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