(Compares with estimates, adds Q4 details, background)
Feb 21 (Reuters) - Loblaw Cos Ltd reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, as more people shopped at the Canadian retailer’s food and drug stores.
In the face of stiff competition from Amazon.com Inc , Loblaw has been expanding its home delivery services in Canada, through its partnership with San Francisco-based online grocery chain, Instacart.
Adjusted gross profit in the retail segment, the company’s biggest, rose 2.6 percent to C$3.25 billion.
The company said retail same-store sales, both in the food and drug segments, grew 1.7 percent in the quarter.
Excluding items, the company earned C$1.07 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of C$1.04 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Net profit available to shareholders rose to C$221 million ($168 million), or 59 Canadian cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec.31, from C$31 million, or 8 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose to C$11.22 billion from C$10.99 billion.
$1 = 1.3189 Canadian dollars Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber