Quebecers have managed to beat food inflation, Metro chief says

Customers at Metro and Super C supermarkets managed to beat food inflation this summer, says the big boss of the Quebec retailer.

• Read also: Food price stabilization: Big grocery bosses arrive in Ottawa with downcast eyes

• Read also: Metro profits rise more than 26%

“People are adjusting their behavior. They’re buying less expensive food, private label products, they’re shopping on specials. All of this means that the actual inflation we’re experiencing is lower than the inflation published (by Statistics Canada), which is the d “a static basket”, said Wednesday the director general of Metro, Eric Richer La Flèche, during an interview with The newspaper.

Metro estimates that its “internal inflation” (the increase in the prices of products sold this summer compared to products sold last summer) was about 5.5% in July, August and September, compared to 7.1% of calculated food inflation. by Statistics Canada.

Market share gains

This did not prevent Metro from seeing sales of its “comparable” supermarkets (those that have been open for at least a year) increase by 6.8% compared to last year. To explain this growth, the company specifically says that it has gained market share.

Including online sales, as well as those from new supermarkets and the pharmaceutical sector (Jean Coutu and Brunet), Metro’s quarterly revenue rose 14% to more than $5 billion. As for net profits, they rose 32% to $222 million, an increase attributable, among other things, to an unusual loss recorded last year.

In the pharmaceutical sector, “comparable” sales increased by 5.5%.

For its full fiscal year, Metro posted net profits of more than $1 billion on sales of $20.7 billion.

Falling shares

Despite those strong results, Metro shares fell more than 6% on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company announced that its profits will be flat in 2023-2024 mainly due to expenses related to the commissioning, in September, of a new automated warehouse, located in Terrebonne.

For its part, the giant Loblaw, owner of the Maxi and Provigo chains, announced on Wednesday that it had generated a net profit of $621 million, up 12%, on quarterly sales of $18.3 billion, up 5% month.

Like Metro, Loblaw said its “internal inflation,” in the food sector, had been lower than the 7.1% measured by Statistics Canada, without quantifying it.

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