Loblaw, the Canadian retailer, has promoted Sarah Davis to the position of CFO.

Davis, executive vice president, finance, at Loblaw, will officially take up the role on 5 May at Loblaw's AGM.

Her promotion will mean Bob Vaux, currently CFO at Loblaw and at Canadian food group George Weston will lead the manufacturer's finance function full time. George Weston is the parent company of Loblaw.

The retailer received a boost from the investment community yesterday (20 January) when TD Newcrest analyst Michael van Aelst upgrading his rating on the company's shares from 'hold' to 'buy'.

In a note to clients, van Aelst said 2010 "will finally be Loblaw's year to break out". The analyst said the likely food deflation and fierce competition to be seen in Canada's grocery sector this year was already reflected in the share price.

Van Aelst also argued that Loblaw's plans for IT integration in 2011 will be seen by the market as a temporary challenge.

"By 2012, we believe that Loblaw will have returned to its former glory armed with a newly renovated store base within its already dominant footprint, a best in class supply chain, fully integrated IT systems and a more productive strategy for general merchandise," he said.