Empire Company Q2-FY2016: Sales up 1.1 percent to $6,059.2 million

Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2015-12-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Empire Company Limited (“Empire” or the “Company”) (TSX: EMP.A) today announced financial results for its second quarter ended October 31, 2015. In the second quarter, the Company recorded adjusted net earnings, net of non-controlling interest, of $110.7 million ($0.40 per diluted share) compared to $126.6 million ($0.46 per diluted share) in the second quarter last year, a 12.6 percent decrease.

Second Quarter Highlights

  • Sales of $6,059.2 million, up $64.1 million or 1.1 percent.
  • Sobeys’ same-store sales (1) excluding fuel sales increased 0.9 percent. Including fuel sales, samestore sales increased 0.1 percent.
  • EBITDA (1) of $256.3 million compared to $323.8 million last year, down $67.5 million or 20.8 percent.
  • Adjusted EBITDA (1) of $303.7 million compared to $331.0 million last year, down $27.3 million or 8.2 percent.
  • Net earnings, net of non-controlling interest, of $68.5 million compared to $116.9 million last year, a decrease of $48.4 million or 41.4 percent.
  • Adjusted net earnings (1), net of non-controlling interest, of $110.7 million compared to $126.6 million last year, a $15.9 million or 12.6 percent decrease.
  • Adjusted EPS (2) (fully diluted) of $0.40 compared to $0.46 last year, a 13.0 percent decrease.
  • Funded debt to total capital (1) ratio of 29.1 percent versus 27.7 percent at May 2, 2015.

(1) See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section of this news release. (2) Earnings per share (“EPS”).

“As anticipated, our second quarter results continued to trail performance versus the same period last year as the integration of Safeway continues to present challenges,” said Marc Poulin, President and CEO, Empire Company Limited. “While we made progress in the adoption of new processes following the implementation of new technology systems, the challenges persisted. In the second quarter, samestore sales were below expectations as a result of customer reaction to our operational challenges and a difficult economy in the west.

“Now that our merchandising team is in place, their focus will be to implement strategies that will improve our overall offering and performance. This marks a critical milestone in the second phase of our Safeway integration strategy, which entails consolidating the majority of our Western Canada back office functions and processes in Calgary. This will yield meaningful cost savings and improve long-term profitability. We remain confident in our ability to realize, if not exceed, our three-year run rate Safeway integration synergy target of $200 million.”

Dividend Declaration
The Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.10 per share on both the Non-Voting Class A shares and the Class B common shares that will be payable on January 29, 2016 to shareholders of record on January 15, 2016. These dividends are eligible dividends as defined for the purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada) and applicable provincial legislation and, therefore, qualify for the favourable tax treatment applicable to such dividends.

ABOUT EMPIRE
Empire Company Limited (TSX: EMP.A) is a Canadian company headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Empire’s key businesses are food retailing and related real estate. With approximately $24.0 billion in annualized sales and $11.6 billion in assets, Empire and its subsidiaries, franchisees and affiliates employ approximately 125,000 people.

Additional financial information relating to Empire, including the Company’s Annual Information Form, can be found on the Company’s website at www.empireco.ca or on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

For further information, please contact:

Media Contact
Andrew Walker
Senior Vice President
Communications & Corporate Affairs
Sobeys Inc.
(905) 238-7124 ext. 6711

Investor Contact
Ken Chernin
Director, Investor Relations
Empire Company Limited
(902) 752-8371 ext. 3409

For full results

SOURCE: Empire Company Limited