Canadian grocery retailer Metro has announced a rise in earning of 14% to C$44.7m (US$36.1m) in the first quarter ended 12 March 2005, compared with $39.2m in the same period a year earlier.

The Company's sales increased 4.1% in the second quarter to $1,376.6m and 4% in the first half-year to $2,822.7m.

Labour conflicts, in corporate stores, reduced second quarter and first half-year sales by $14m and $34m respectively, the company said. These decreases were offset by sales of nearly $10m and $20m respectively in the second quarter and first fiscal half-year linked to the purchase of 15 affiliated Metro supermarkets during the third quarter of the last fiscal year.