Canadian grocery chain Sobeys has said that a five-week strike by workers at its Whitby distribution center near Toronto will impact the company's fourth-quarter profits.

Sobeys said it expects the strike, which ended 5 May, to cost the company C$11.3m (US$8.1m) before taxes, or 11 cents a share after taxes, for the fourth quarter.

The company also said its fiscal 2003 net earnings growth would fall slightly below its guidance of between 12% and 16%, reported Reuters.