Empire Co. reports higher profit in first year of earnings with Farm Boy

farm boy

Fresh off an announcement that it plans to build out the Farm Boy network in Ontario, parent company Empire Co. Ltd. said Thursday its stronger performance in fiscal 2019 was boosted by the Ottawa-based grocer.

Empire reported earnings of $154.6 million in its latest quarter, up from a profit of $103.8 million in the same quarter last year.

Sales in what was the company's second quarter totalled $6.44 billion, up from $6.21 billion last year. In financial filings, Empire Co. attributed the increased sales to inflation on food prices and the inclusion of earnings from Farm Boy, which the company acquired in an $800-million deal a year ago.

On an adjusted basis, Empire says it earned 58 cents per diluted share in its latest quarter, up from an adjusted profit of 40 cents per share a year ago. Analysts on average had expected a profit of 57 cents per share and $6.47 billion in revenue, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Empire also said in filings that it intends to invest $600 million in 2020 across its operations, which include the Sobeys and Safeway grocery chains. Some $70 million of that spending will fund Farm Boy’s expansion plans across Ontario in the coming year.

The Ottawa-based grocer said Tuesday it plans to open 10 new stores across Ontario in the coming years. That includes two stores in Ottawa: the previously announced conversion of a Sobeys on Metcalfe Street to a Farm Boy and the relocation of the brand’s Train Yards outlet.

– With files from Canadian Press