September 11, 2008 / 12:33 PM / 9 years ago

Empire profit drops without big capital gains

OTTAWA, Sept 11 (Reuters) - First-quarter profit at Empire Co Ltd (EMPa.TO) fell 47 percent without last year's big capital gains, the company said on Thursday. But adjusted earnings rose as growth in the core Sobeys supermarket chain offset weakness in the real estate division,

Empire said net earnings declined to C$75.1 million ($70.2 million), or C$1.14 a share, in the quarter ended Aug 2, from C$142.3 million, or C$2.16 a share, in the same period last year.

Excluding capital gains and net of tax, earnings grew to C$70.3 million, or C$1.07 a share, from C$60.4 million, or 92 Canadian cents a share. ($1=$1.07 Canadian) (Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by Janet Guttsman)

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