Loblaw beats profit estimates as online sales surge

Reuters — Loblaw beat quarterly revenue and profit estimates on Thursday, driven by a near-fourfold jump in online sales, as stay-at-home Canadians used the retailer’s pickup and delivery services to stock up on bread, milk and eggs.

With consumers still limiting their trips outdoors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said it would invest more to expand the pickup and delivery operation while aiming to reduce costs.

The move is part of a larger trend among Canadian retailers. Earlier this week, Walmart Canada said it plans to spend $3.5 billion over the next five years to strengthen its e-commerce business.

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A 280 per cent surge in e-commerce sales lifted Loblaw’s revenue about 7.4 per cent to $11.96 billion in the second quarter ended June 13. That beat analysts’ estimates of $11.87 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv .

Adjusted net earnings fell nearly 29 per cent to $266 million, or 74 cents per share, due to employee bonuses. Analysts had expected a profit of 71 cents per share.

The company’s food retail same-stores sales rose 10 per cent in the quarter.

— Reporting for Reuters by Uday Sampath in Bangalore.

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