UPDATE 1-Empire profit misses estimates as competition intensifies

Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:03am EDT
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* First-qtr net profit falls 40 pct

* First-qtr adj profit from cont ops C$1.32 vs est C$1.55

* First-qtr sales C$4.61 bln vs est C$4.72 bln

* Sobeys same-store sales down 0.1 pct

Sept 12 (Reuters) - Canada's Empire Co Ltd, parent of Sobeys grocery chain, reported an adjusted profit from continuing operations that missed analysts' estimate as competition intensified.

The company attributed a 40 percent fall in first-quarter net profit to higher promotional activities and expenses related with the acquisition of the Canadian assets of Safeway Inc .

Empire bought Canada Safeway for $5.7 billion in June to bulk up its business as U.S. retailers Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp expand in the country.

Loblaw Cos Ltd, Canada's biggest grocery chain, consolidated pharmacy assets with a C$12.4 billion deal to buy Shopper's Drug Mart Corp in July.

Empire's total sales increased to C$4.61 billion ($4.46 billion) in the quarter ended Aug. 3 from C$4.51 billion a year earlier.   Continued...