* Second-quarter net profit C$1.07/share vs est. C$1.02
* Sales rise 1.7 pct, same-store sales up 1 pct
* Raises dividend to C$0.30/share from C$0.25
(Adds details, background, shares)
April 16 Canadian grocer Metro Inc
posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as a
reorganization of its Ontario operations boosted sales and the
company raised its dividend.
Metro, which is facing stiff competition from U.S. retailers
such as Wal-Mart Stores and Target Corp, said in
August that it would convert about half a dozen Metro stores in
Ontario into Food Basics discount outlets, close one to three
stores and offer early exit to some employees.
"Our merchandising strategies and investments, as well as
our reorganization of our Ontario store network enabled us to
increase sales in a market that remains intensely competitive,"
Metro said in a statement.
The company's net income fell to C$96.9 million, or C$1.07
per share, in the quarter ended March 15 from C$362.7 million,
or C$3.80 per share, a year earlier.
In the second quarter of 2013, the company had an after-tax
gain of $266.4 million related to the sale of part of its stake
in Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard
Analysts on average had expected a second-quarter profit of
C$1.02 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Metro's sales rose 1.7 percent to C$2.55 billion in the
second quarter. Analysts on average had expected C$2.52 billion.
Same-store sales rose 1 percent.
The company raised its quarterly dividend to 30 Canadian
cents per share from 25 Canadian cents.
Metro's shares closed at C$64.28 on Tuesday on the Toronto
(Reporting by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti