George Weston, North America’s largest baked good maker, saw underlying profits fall last year due to the ongoing restructuring at Loblaw, its Canadian supermarket arm.
The company posted a 14.3% fall in adjusted operating income – profit excluding one-off charges – to C$1.4bn (US$1.4bn).
The decrease in group profit came as earnings from Loblaw, Canada’s largest supermarket chain, saw its underlying profits fall from C$1.3bn to C$1bn.
Costs linked to a streamlining and efficiency programme at Loblaw – dubbed Project Simplify – dogged the business, even as turnover from the stores rose 2.6% to C$744m.
Profits from George Weston’s food processing arm, Weston Foods, rose 17.5% to C$382m. An increase in fresh and frozen bakery sales and tight cost control helped the rise in earnings, the company said.
However, a dip in biscuit sales and the strength of the Canadian dollar meant total revenue from the Weston Foods business dipped 1.2% to C$4.3bn.