Canadian grocery retailer Loblaw has reported higher quarterly earnings, helped by a 12.9% increase in sales.
The company posted net earnings of C$294m (US$224.2m), or $1.07 per share, for the fourth quarter, compared to $265m, or 96 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Fourth-quarter sales rose to $6.4bn from $5.6bn in the same period of the previous year, including an 8% positive impact from the additional week in the 2003 quarter.
Same-store sales rose 3.3% on an equivalent 13 week basis. The company opened 24 new corporate and franchised stores during the quarter and closed 20 stores.