August 10, 2011 / 11:33 AM / in 6 years

UPDATE 1-Grocer Metro's Q3 profit narrowly misses as market heats up

* Q3 EPS C$1.21 vs est C$1.22

* Q3 rev up 0.4 pct at C$3.58 bln

* Renews issuer bid program

Aug 10 (Reuters) - Metro Inc's MRUa.TO third-quarter results missed estimates by a whisker as Canada's No. 3 grocer continues to fight in a fiercely competitive and tightly regulated market.

Net income for the quarter rose to C$124.9 million ($125.8 million), or C$1.21 per share, compared with C$120 million, or C$1.12 per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose marginally to C$3.58 billion. Same store sales were up 5 percent in the quarter.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of C$1.22 on revenue of C$3.6 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Metro, third in line after Loblaw and Sobey's parent Empire Co Ltd (EMPa.TO), also said it was renewing its issuer bid program to burn through excess funds.

It intends to buy back about 6 million of its class A subordinate shares till September 2012.

Metro's sales continued to be hurt by lower drug pricing and new generic drug regulation in Quebec and Ontario. ($1 = 0.993 Canadian Dollars) (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)

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