June 26, 2009 / 3:19 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-Empire profit falls on property, investment drop

* EPS C$0.96 vs analyst forecast of C$1.18

* Revenue rises 4.2 pct to C$3.7 billion

* Repeats forecast for lower results from investments

* Shares up C$0.24 at C$46.56

OTTAWA, June 26 (Reuters) - Empire Co Ltd (EMPa.TO) reported a lower quarterly profit on Friday as stronger sales in its core grocery business were more than offset by sharp declines in its property and investment operations.

Canada’s No. 2 grocery chain, whose banners include Sobeys supermarkets, said it earned C$63.6 million, or 96 Canadian cents a diluted share for the fourth quarter, ended May 31. That is down from C$66.5 million, or C$1.01, for the same time last year.

Revenue rose 4.2 percent to C$3.7 billion.

Analysts had expected on average earnings per share of C$1.18 before items on revenue of C$3.74 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

Shares in the company, which repeated a forecast it made last quarter for lower comparative results from its investments, gained 24 Canadian cents to C$46.56 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday morning.

$1=$1.15 Canadian Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by Rob Wilson

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