Canadian grocery retailer Sobeys has lower its fourth-quarter earnings outlook, partly due to restructuring and pension charges.

The company said it now expects fourth-quarter earnings per share of between 50 Canadian cents (US$0.37) and 53 cents before other items, compared to its previous guidance of earnings before other items in the range of 65 to 67 cents per share. 

For the full year to 1 May, Sobeys expects earnings per share of between $2.53 and $2.56 ($2.60 to $2.63 exclusive of other items). Other items during the year will include 14 cents per share in charges previously reported in the first and second quarters, as well as, during the fourth quarter, 7 cents per share in disability, pension and restructuring charges and up to 14 cents per share in gains from the expected completion of several transactions related to redundant real estate. 

"Our more competitive and improved offerings continue to gain positive response from our customers and are driving total store sales growth across all regions. We remain steadfast and determined to execute our strategy to build a healthy and sustainable business for the long term," CEO Bill McEwan said, noting that Sobeys expects to meet its previously announced annual sales growth target of 6%.