Sobeys Releases Fourth Quarter Financial Results
STELLARTON, CANADA - Following an expansion of its FreshCo retail banner, Sobeys' parent company, Empire Company, has released its fourth quarter financial report, and it looks like the company’s new fresh-focused strategy is paying off. Empire’s recorded adjusted net earnings, net of non-controlling interest, of $126.5 million compared to $93 million last year.
“The progress being made at Empire Company is clear to see in every financial and customer metric in our fourth quarter and fiscal 2019,” said Michael Medline, President and CEO. “The team is stronger, more customer focused, results oriented, and increasingly innovative. We are especially proud of our annual sales improvement of almost $1 billion and productivity gains that are showing up in significantly higher gross margin. Project Sunrise is progressing even better than we had planned and we expect to exceed our $500 million savings target.”
Project Sunrise, the company’s cost-saving initiative, continues to progress well and is benefiting the company in ways that have exceeded management’s initial expectations. Last year, the company realized $100 million in benefits from the initiative, and this year has realized an additional $200 million of benefits, according to a press release.
“We now believe that, following our three-year transformation effort, we will be in a strong position to put in place a new three year strategic and financial roadmap to drive even stronger shareholder returns. Our confidence is manifest in our announcement today that we are raising Empire’s dividend 9 percent and intend to carry out a $100 million share buyback,” Medline said.
Other highlights of the financial report include:
- Same-store sales, excluding fuel, increased by 3.8%
- Capital investment program for fiscal 2020 expected to be $600 million
- Earnings per share of $0.45 compared to $0.35 last year
- Annual dividend per share increased 9% to $0.48
- Project Sunrise exceeded targets for fiscal 2019
To read the report in its entirety, click here.
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