Canada Stockwatch – George Weston: acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart key factor in raising the company’s first quarter revenue by 36.7%.
Canada Stockwatch – George Weston Limited (TSE:WN, Mkt cap 12.47B, P/E 156.67, Div/yield 0.42/1.71, EPS 0.63, Shares 127.92M) has cited the acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart as a key contributing factor in raising the company’s first quarter revenue by 36.7% to $10.41 billion.
As the Cape Boston Post reports, the Toronto-based firm saw its profit rise significantly in the first three months of 2015, with net income climbing 39.2% to $167 million or $1.23 per share.
Meanwhile, adjusted operating income jumped up 73.9% to $586 million, $541 million of which came from Loblaw.
Pavi Binning, the company’s president, was particularly pleased with the performance of Loblaw, but noted that the smaller Weston Foods bakery business also enjoyed a solid year, delivering “volume growth and higher sales across all business units.”
The Q1 report shows sales for the Weston Foods arm rose 12.2%. However, its adjusting operating income declined 13.5% year-on-year to $45 million.
Binning put the smaller profit margin down to higher input costs, new plant costs and investments in other improvements.
This time last year, George Weston reported $7.612 billion of revenue (mostly from Loblaw before its Shoppers addition), $337 million of adjusted operating income and $120 million or 86 cents per share of net income.
Weston said its dividend will rise 1.2% or half a cent to 42.5 cents per common share.
“George Weston Limited continues to focus on creating long term shareholder value and today, for the third consecutive year, we announced a dividend increase,” said W. Galen Weston, executive chairman, George Weston Limited.
“We continue to execute against the strategic initiatives set by each of the company’s operating segments to deliver stable, long term growth and profitability.”
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