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Metro posts higher profit

Tags: Metro Inc.
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Canada's third-largest grocery store operator Metro Inc.'s (MRU-T) quarterly profit rose 12 percent as its majority-owned ethnic food retailer Adonis stores boosted sales and margins.

The company operates about 600 food stores and more than 250 drugstores in Ontario and Quebec.

Second-quarter gross margins rose to 18.8 percent from 18.4 percent a year ago, helped in part by the Adonis stores, in which Metro bought a 55-percent stake in October.

Sales rose 4 percent to $2.65 billion. Sales at established stores, a key measure for retailers, rose 1 percent.

Sales from Marché Adonis and Marché Adonis's distributor, Phoenicia, contributed $59 million to Metro's sales, the company said in a statement.

Net earnings for the quarter ended March 10 rose to $96.1 million, or 94 cents a share, from $85.7 million, or 82 cents, a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 92 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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