Metro sales growth dampened by deflation

Metro sales growth dampened by deflation

Canadian retailer Metro Inc said it is confident of continued growth in 2010 as it booked a 13.3% increase in first-half profits.

For the 24 weeks ended 13 March, net profit amounted to C$178.4m (US$178.7m) compared to $157.4m in 2009, the firm reported today (21 April).

Sales reached C$5.22bn, up 1.4% on 2009, despite “a slight drop” in basket value.

EBITDA amounted to C$353.7m or 6.8% of sales compared to C$332.8m in the comparable period of the prior year.

“Despite persistent deflation in certain product categories, our results improved on last year’s excellent second quarter,” said Eric La Flèche, president and CEO. “Consumers remain cautious and our teams constantly strive to provide them excellent value across all of our banners.”

In the second quarter, net earnings reached C$80.3m, an increase of 5.2% on 2009. EBITDA for the quarter increased 5.5% to C$171.6m.

Sales edged up 1.1% to C$2.57bn, while same-store sales declined 0.7% due to deflation in certain product categories.