Canada's Loblaw beats profit estimates

FILE PHOTO - A Loblaw supermarket is pictured in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, November 14, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

(Reuters) - Loblaw Cos Ltd reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, as the retailer benefited from efforts to refurbish stores and expand its online presence.

The retailer, which sells everything from grocery to wireless mobile connections, has been renovating its stores and growing its online business as it fights for market share with bigger rivals such as Inc.

The company said food retail same-store sales grew 0.9 percent in the third quarter ended Oct. 6, while retail same-store sales in its drugs unit rose 2.5 percent.

Revenue rose to C$14.45 billion ($10.92 billion)from C$14.19 billion.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned C$1.49 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of C$1.44 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net profit attributable to common shareholders fell to C$106 million, or 28 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter, from C$883 million, or C$2.24 per share, a year earlier.

($1 = 1.3236 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel