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Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. (SC-T), Canada's largest pharmacy chain, said on Thursday quarterly earnings edged higher after excluding a charge for store closures, as solid sales growth outweighed higher operating costs.
The company took a $5-million pre-tax charge as it closed two of the eight stores under its Murale banner. The stores, launched in 2008, sell makeup, perfume and skin care products.
Total sales rose 2.6 percent to $2.46 billion while sales at established stores, a key measure for retailers, rose 2.2 percent.
Operating costs rose 5 percent excluding the Murale charge, in part because of labour costs and other expenses related to "network growth and expansion initiatives."
For the quarter ended June 16 net income slipped to $146 million, or 70 cents a share, from C$148 million, or 68 cents, a year earlier.
Excluding the Murale charge, adjusted net earnings edged up to $149 million, or 71 cents a share.