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Sobeys parent Empire profit up on lower tax rate

Empire Co Ltd (EMP.A-T), parent of the Sobeys grocery chain, reported a higher quarterly profit on Thursday, aided by an extra week of results and a lower tax rate.

The company, which increased its quarterly dividend by 12.5 percent, said the additional week accounted for about 8.2 percentage points of the 9.2 percent rise in fourth-quarter consolidated sales.

Net earnings for the fourth quarter ended May 7 rose to $92.3 million, or $1.36 a share, from $73.5 million, or $1.07 a share, a year ago.

The addition of an extra week of results at its food retailing unit into the quarterly report and the lower income tax rate boosted earnings by $17.2 million.
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