2024 First Quarter Highlights

  • Revenue was $13,581 million, an increase of $586 million, or 4.5%.
  • Retail segment sales were $13,290 million, an increase of $555 million, or 4.4%.
  • Food Retail (Loblaw) same-stores sales increased by 3.4%.
  • Drug Retail (Shoppers Drug Mart) same-store sales increased by 4.0%, with front store same-store sales growth of 0.7% and pharmacy and healthcare services same-store sales growth of 7.3%.
  • E-commerce sales increased by 16.1%.

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. reported a 9.8% increase in profit in the first quarter and raised its quarterly dividend paid to shareholders by 15%. The company, which owns stores including Loblaws, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, and Shoppers Drug Mart, is not the only grocer facing intense scrutiny over food inflation, but particular ire has been directed at Canada’s largest grocer, culminating in a call for boycotts this month.

Food prices have slowed since reaching double-digit highs early last year, with food inflation reaching 1.9% compared with the prior year, according to Statistics Canada. Loblaw reported that its internal measures of inflation show that its prices remain below Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index for food purchased from stores. The company’s goal is to negotiate better prices with suppliers to continue to draw in shoppers and keep gross profit margins relatively stable.

Loblaw is hoping for more support from large consumer packaged goods companies for price promotions, as they have money to invest and many are looking for volume. Loblaw is also continuing to open more discount stores, both by converting existing stores to formats such as No Frills and Maxi and by opening new locations. The company plans to open more than 50 such locations this year.

Loblaw reported that traffic to its grocery stores is on the rise, though basket sizes are continuing to shrink as consumers remain discerning about their purchases and buy fewer items during each visit. Same-store sales grew by 3.4% in the quarter at Loblaw’s grocery stores and 4.4% at its drugstores including Shoppers Drug Mart. E-commerce sales grew by 16.1%.

Loblaw reported net earnings available to common shareholders of $459-million or $1.47 per share in the first quarter ended March 23, up from $418-million or $1.29 in the same period the year before.

Source: Globe and Mail
Source: The Star
Source: Financial Post
Source: Loblaw