• Net earnings climb 2.3%
  • Operating profit edges up 0.5%
  • Net sales increase 1.8%

Canadian retailer Sobeys has booked an increase in full-year profits.

In the 12 months ended 5 May, net profit was up 2.3% to C$304.1m (US$296.6m). Adjusting for the additional week of operations at Sobeys in fiscal 2011, net earnings would have been C$274.5m. Operating profit in the period edged up 0.5% to C$475.8m.

Net sales increased 1.8% to C$16.04bn. Same-store sales rose 1.4% for the year.

Earlier this month, Sobeys owner Empire Co. appointed Marc Poulin as the retailer's new CEO. Poulin joined Sobeys in 1997 and takes the role from today (29 June). He replaces Bill McEwan, who said in February he wanted to retire on health grounds.

Show the press release

Empire Company Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results

INCREASES DIVIDEND FOR THE 17TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

STELLARTON, NS, June 28, 2012 /CNW/ - Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A) today announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended May 5, 2012. For the 13 weeks ended May 5, 2012, the Company recorded net earnings, net of minority interest, of $92.1 million ($1.35 per share) compared to $82.5 million ($1.21 per share) for the 14 weeks ended May 7, 2011.

Adjusted net earnings, net of minority interest, for the 13 weeks ended May 5, 2012 were $89.5 million ($1.32 per share) compared to $81.3 million ($1.20 per share) recorded for the 14 weeks ended May 7, 2011. The fourth quarter last year contained an additional week of operations for wholly-owned Sobeys Inc. which served to positively impact last year's sales by $313.6 million and net earnings by approximately $6.3 million. Excluding the net earnings impact of the additional week of operations in the fourth quarter last year, adjusted net earnings, net of minority interest, increased $14.5 million or 19.3 percent.

Fourth Quarter Highlights (13 weeks versus 14 weeks last year)

Sales increased $106.6 million or 2.8 percent after adjusting for the impact of the additional week of operations last year and the acquisition of 236 retail gas locations and related convenience store operations in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.
Sobeys' same-store sales increased 0.7 percent.
Operating income (1) of $136.4 million versus $122.4 million last year.
Net earnings, net of minority interest, of $92.1 million ($1.35 per share) compared to $82.5 million ($1.21 per share) last year.
Adjusted net earnings (2), net of minority interest, of $89.5 million ($1.32 per share) versus $81.3 million ($1.20 per share) last year.
Funded debt to total capital ratio of 25.0 percent compared to 26.7 percent last year.
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(1) Certain balances have been reclassified for changes to comparative figures (see Note 20 to the Company's fourth quarter unaudited consolidated financial statements).
(2) Excludes items which are considered not indicative of underlying business operating performance.

Net earnings, net of minority interest, for the 52 weeks ended May 5, 2012 were $339.4 million ($4.99 per share) compared to $400.6 million ($5.87 per share) recorded for the 53 weeks last year. Included in net earnings last year was a net gain on the sale of a 27.5 percent ownership interest in Wajax Income Fund ("Wajax") for $76.2 million.

Adjusted net earnings, net of minority interest, for the 52 weeks ended May 5, 2012 were $320.6 million ($4.71 per share) compared to $303.2 million ($4.45 per share) for the 53 weeks ended May 7, 2011. Excluding the impact of the additional week of operations last year, adjusted net earnings, net of minority interest, increased $23.7 million or 8.0 percent.

Fiscal 2012 Highlights (52 weeks versus 53 weeks last year)

Sales increased $474.9 million or 3.0 percent after adjusting for the impact of the additional week of operations last year and the acquisition of 236 retail gas locations and related convenience store operations in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.
Sobeys' same-store sales increased 1.4 percent.
Operating income (1) of $534.3 million versus $525.7 million last year.
Net earnings, net of minority interest, of $339.4 million ($4.99 per share) compared to $400.6 million ($5.87 per share) last year. Net earnings last year included a net gain on the sale of a 27.5 percent ownership interest in Wajax of $76.2 million.
Adjusted net earnings (2), net of minority interest, of $320.6 million ($4.71 per share) versus $303.2 million ($4.45 per share) last year.
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(1) Certain balances have been reclassified for changes to comparative figures (see Note 20 to the Company's fourth quarter unaudited consolidated financial statements).
(2) Excludes items which are considered not indicative of underlying business operating performance.

"We are clearly pleased with our fourth quarter and fiscal 2012 operating performance as we continue to profitably grow our food retail business and our investments and other operations in a very competitive environment," stated Paul Sobey, President and CEO, Empire Company Limited.

Mr. Sobey continued, "On behalf of all our employees, franchisees and affiliates, along with the Board and the Sobey family, we extend our heartfelt appreciation and best wishes to Bill McEwan, who will step down as President and CEO of Sobeys Inc. on June 29, 2012, following more than 11 years of truly inspirational leadership."

"Marc Poulin, currently President, Sobeys IGA Operations will replace Bill as the newly appointed President and CEO of Sobeys Inc. It is indeed a celebration of the depth of talent we have in the organization that we have such a highly qualified and proven food retailer to lead Sobeys' food-focused strategy forward. We are confident that Marc's knowledge of the industry and his proven leadership will serve Sobeys well in the years ahead," said Paul Sobey.

"Consistent with our growth and the improvement in our financial position, we are pleased to announce an increase in Empire's quarterly dividend per share, from 22.5 cents per share to 24.0 cents per share per quarter, a 6.7 percent increase. This marks the seventeenth consecutive year of Empire dividend increases."

Dividend Declaration

The Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of 24.0 cents per share on both the Non-Voting Class A shares and the Class B common shares that will be payable on July 31, 2012 to shareholders of record on July 13, 2012. These dividends are eligible dividends as defined for the purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada) and applicable provincial legislation and, therefore, qualify for the favourable tax treatment applicable to such dividends.

With the transition to International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS" or "GAAP") effective the first quarter of fiscal 2012, the comparative figures in the financial results table below for the 14 and 53 weeks ended May 7, 2011 have been restated to conform with IFRS.

 

Original source: Empire Co