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Jean Coutu profit nearly triples

Canadian pharmacy retailer Jean Coutu Group (PJC.A-T) Tuesday reported a higher quarterly profit in line with analysts' estimates, helped by steady sales growth at its drugstore chain.

For the June-August quarter, the company earned $42.6 million, or 18 cents a share, compared with $14.9 million, or 7 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue at the company, which operates 370 franchises in Canada -- mostly in Quebec -- and holds a significant interest in Rite Aid Corp. (RAD-N) in the United States, rose 2 percent to $622.0 million.

"We are still waiting a decision from Quebec's Minister of Health and Social Services concerning the Government of Quebec's intention to reduce the price of generic drugs as announced last June 25," chief executive Francois Coutu said in a statement.

Shares of the Quebec-based company have gained about 8 percent in the last three months.

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