Canadian grocery retailer Sobeys has posted lower quarterly earnings despite a slight increase in sales.

The Nova Scotia-based company reported net earnings of C$41.9m (US$30.6m), or 64 cents a share, for its first quarter, compared to $45.9m, or 70 cents a share, for the year-ago period.

Sobeys’ sales rose to $2.76bn from $2.64bn a year earlier, while same store sales rose 1.6%.

Analysts polled by Reuters Research had expected profit of 76 cents a share and sales of $2.80bn.

Sobeys, which operates stores under the Sobeys, IGA, Garden Market and Price Shopper banners, said it would not meet its previously announced growth targets for the year, reported Reuters.

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