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Shoppers Drug Mart sees 1Q sales uptick

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BRAMPTON, Ontario — Shoppers Drug Mart turned in narrow revenue and same-store sales gains for the 2017 first quarter.

Parent Loblaw Cos. said Wednesday that for the 12-week first quarter ended March 25, Shoppers Drug Mart totaled revenue of $2.773 billion (Canadian), up 0.3% from $2.764 billion a year earlier.

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Front-of-store sales declined 1.4% to $1.43 billion in the quarter, while pharmacy sales edged up 2.3% to more than $1.34 billion.

Shoppers Drug Mart’s comparable-store sales in the first quarter rose 0.9%, reflecting gains of 0.6% in the front end and 1.3% in the pharmacy. Excluding the negative impact of the calendar day shifts for New Year’s Day and Easter, same-store sales grew 2.5%, with results up 3.6% in the front end and 1.4% in the pharmacy, according to Loblaw.

Overall, Loblaw posted first-quarter 2017 revenue of $10.4 billion, up 0.2% year over year. Sales for the retail segment, including the company’s supermarket and pharmacy businesses, were virtually flat at about $10.166 billion, up 0.1%.

Food retail sales came in at $7.393 billion versus $7.390 billion in the 2016 quarter. Food retail same-store sales were down 2.1%, excluding fuel. Loblaw said that excluding the New Year’s and Easter calendar shifts, food retail comparable-store sales were relatively flat.

“We continued to invest to deliver value to consumers,” Galen Weston, chairman and chief executive officer of Loblaw Cos., said in a statement. “We are pleased with our performance in the first quarter, against a highly competitive food retail environment and despite the pressures of deflation and health care reform.”

Loblaw said 28 food and drug stores were opened and 29 were closed in the previous 12 months, resulting in a net retail square footage gain of 0.4%.

As of March 25, Shoppers Drug Mart had 1,324 drug stores, compared with 1,314 a year earlier. Loblaw had 564 corporate-owned supermarkets at the end of the first quarter, versus 585 a year ago. Franchise stores totaled 532, up from 522 in the prior-year period.


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