Canadian retailer Metro Inc said today (27 January) that a "marked improvement" from its stores in Ontario had helped boost first-quarter sales and earnings.

The company, which is converting its supermarkets in Ontario to the Metro banner, posted a 34.8% jump in adjusted net earnings to C$84.1m (US$68.6m) for the three months to 20 December.

Reported net earnings, which include costs linked to the supermarket overhaul in Ontario, rose 9.9% to C$81.1m.

Turnover climbed 3.7% to C$2.6bn; on a same-store basis, sales rose 3.5%.

President and CEO Eric La Flèche said: "Our growth in both sales and net earnings reflects our strong performance in Québec and a marked improvement in our Ontario results."