UPDATE 1-Canadian grocer Metro revenue beats estimates

Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:23am EST
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Jan 27 (Reuters) - Canadian grocer Metro Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit as same-store sales rose 3.8 percent, the biggest increase since the third quarter of 2009.

The company increased its quarterly dividend to 35 Canadian cents per common share from 30 Canadian cents and also announced a 3-for-1 stock split.

Metro, which reorganized its Ontario store network, converted some of its Metro stores into Food Basics discount grocery outlets to attract customers looking to spend less amid subdued growth in the economy.

The company also benefited from the acquisition of a majority stake in Quebec-based bakery product manufacturer and retailer Première Moisson in June, which added to revenue for the first time last quarter.

Net income rose to C$112.5 million ($90.2 million), or C$1.30 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 20, from C$99.2 million, or C$1.06 per share, a year earlier.

Adjusted net earnings were C$1.35 per share.

The Montreal, Quebec-based company's revenue rose about 5 percent to C$2.84 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of C$1.31 per share on revenue of C$2.79 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Metro's shares closed at C$97.26 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday. The stock had risen about 56 percent in the past 12 months. ($1 = 1.2476 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Manya Venkatesh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)