UPDATE 2-Metro to reorganize Ontario store network, partner with Target

Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:43pm EDT
 
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* To close or convert 15 Metro stores

* To take C$40 mln charge in current quarter

* Third-quarter earnings C$1.55/shr vs C$1.43/shr year earlier

* Sales down about 1 pct to C$3.57 billion

Aug 14 (Reuters) - Canadian grocer Metro Inc reported a fall in its quarterly sales and said it will close or convert 15 of its stores in Ontario to cut costs, sending its shares down 3 percent.

The company, which runs Adonis ethnic food stores and the Brunet pharmacy chain, also said it has agreed to operate Target Corp's in-store pharmacies in Quebec.

Metro had 368 supermarkets, 196 discount stores and 260 drugstores in the two Canadian provinces as of November.

It has been facing competitive pressure, especially in Ontario, as U.S. retailers expand their operations into Canada. U.S.-based Target plans to open its first 25 stores in Quebec this fall.

Metro said it will take a charge of about C$40 million ($38.75 million) in the fourth quarter related to the reorganization.   Continued...