Loblaw today (24 February) hailed the “real progress” that has been made to rejuvenate the business as the Canadian retailer posted higher full-year sales and earnings.

For the 52 weeks ended 1 January Loblaw booked a 3.8% rise in net earnings, which increased to C$681m (US$693.4m) from C$656m in the previous year.

Total sales edged up 0.9% during the fiscal year, rising to C$30.99bn. While Loblaw continued to witness an erosion in same-store sales, the decline slowed to 0.6%, compared to a drop in identical-store sales of 1.1% booked during fiscal 2009.

The supermarket arm of George Weston has also improved its profitability over the past 12 months through a greater focus on supply chain and IT improvements. EBITDA margins rose 6.2% in fiscal 2010, compared to 5.8% in FY2009, Loblaw revealed.

“2010 was another year of real progress towards completing our renewal plan,” said Galen Weston, executive chairman. “In 2011, the company plans to continue its investment in information technology and supply chain.”

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