December 12, 2013 / 3:33 PM / in 4 years

Sobeys owner Empire reports 84 percent jump in profit

(Reuters) - Empire Co Ltd (EMPa.TO), owner of Canada’s No. 2 grocer, reported an 84 percent jump in second-quarter earnings as cost controls helped to offset weaker margins.

Sales at the company’s Sobeys grocery chain rose 2 percent to C$4.42 billion ($4.17 billion) in the three months to November 2.

Total sales also increased by about 2 percent, to C$4.43 billion.

Sobeys, like other Canadian retailers, is facing increasing competition from Wal-Mart (WMT.N) and Target (TGT.N), which are expanding their presence in Canada.

Empire’s net earnings rose to C$169.2 million, or C$2.48 per share, from C$91.9 million, or C$1.35 per share, a year earlier.

($1 = 1.0611 Canadian dollars)

Reporting By Kanika Sikka in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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