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April 30 Loblaw Cos Ltd, Canada's largest
grocer, reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue in the
face of increasing competition from expanding U.S. rivals.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp have
expanded in Canada over the past year, challenging Canadian
retailers such as Loblaw, Canadian Tire Corp Ltd and
Loblaw, which has just completed its C$12.4 billion
acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart Corp, said total revenue rose
just over 1 percent to C$7.29 billion.
Retail same store sales grew by about 1 percent compared
with a growth of 2.8 percent in the year-ago quarter.
Excluding one-off charges, the company earned C$139 million,
or 49 Canadian cents per share, up slightly from C$134 million,
or 48 Canadian cents per share a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected the company to earn 46
Canadian cents on revenue of C$7.32 billion, according to
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company raised its quarterly dividend by half a cent to
24.5 Canadian cents from a previous 24 cents.
Loblaw shares closed at C$45.80 on Tuesday on the Toronto
The stock has risen about 7 percent in the past three
months, outperforming the stocks of Loblaw's smaller rivals
Empire and Metro. Metro's stock has risen about 2 percent, while
that of Empire has fallen about 6 percent in the same period.
($1 = 1.0966 Canadian Dollars)
(Reporting by Ashutosh Pandey in Bangalore)