Canada’s largest grocery chain, Loblaw, has said quarterly profits rose almost 20% due to stronger supermarket sales.

Loblaw, which operates supermarkets under the Provigo and Loblaws banners, reported first-quarter net earnings of C$151m (US$106m), or 55 cents a share, up 19.8% from $126m, or 46 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Analysts polled by Multex had forecast an average of 54 cents a share, reported Retuers.

Loblaw’s revenue rose 8.6% to C$5.4bn from C$5.0bn in the year-ago period, while same-store sales increased 5.4%.
Loblaw, which is controlled by Canada’s largest food processor and distributor, George Weston, said it opened 13 new corporate and franchised stores during the quarter and closed 15.