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Grocery and drugstore retailer Metro reports $228.5M Q1 profit, raises dividend

Canadian grocery and drugstore retailer, Metro Inc., has announced robust financial results for the first quarter, reporting a profit of $228.5 million. This positive outcome was driven by a substantial increase in sales, which rose by 6.5% compared to the same period last year. In response to this strong performance, Metro has also decided to raise its quarterly dividend, providing enhanced returns to its shareholders.

Metro's decision to boost its dividend is reflected in the new payout of 33.5 cents per share, up from the previous 30.25 cents per share. The company's commitment to rewarding its investors underscores its confidence in continued success and financial stability.

The reported profit of 99 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended on Dec. 23 marks a slight dip from the previous year's figure of $231.1 million or 97 cents per diluted share. However, this variance can be attributed to the change in the number of outstanding shares during the same period. Despite this adjustment, Metro's profitability remains strong, reflecting its resilience and adaptability in the competitive retail landscape.

Total sales for the 12-week period reached an impressive $4.97 billion, up from $4.67 billion in the corresponding quarter of the previous year, which ended on Dec. 17, 2022. This growth underscores Metro's ability to attract and retain customers, as well as capitalize on market trends and consumer preferences.

One notable contributor to Metro's success is the performance of its food segment, where same-store sales surged by 6.1%. This increase was partly influenced by the timing of the quarter's conclusion relative to the Christmas season. Adjusting for this factor, Metro reports a still noteworthy 3.4% growth in food same-store sales. This resilience in the face of seasonality challenges highlights Metro's strategic management and adaptability.

Furthermore, the pharmacy segment also experienced positive growth, with same-store sales up by 3.9%. This performance signals Metro's ability to cater to the diverse needs of its customer base, extending beyond groceries into essential health and wellness products.

On an adjusted basis, Metro's earnings reached $1.02 per diluted share, showing a slight uptick from the previous year's adjusted profit of $1 per share. This reflects the company's commitment to operational efficiency and financial prudence.

In summary, Metro Inc.'s first-quarter results demonstrate a resilient and thriving business model, capable of navigating challenges and capitalizing on opportunities. The decision to raise the dividend underscores the company's confidence in its continued success. As Metro continues to evolve and innovate, it remains a key player in the Canadian retail landscape, delivering value to both customers and shareholders alike.