Loblaw Companies Limited Executive Chairman Galen Weston Jr., right, poses with and his father Galen Weston Sr., at the company’s annual general meeting in Toronto on Wednesday, May 5, 2010. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

George Weston Q2 profit up from last year, adjusted earnings beat estimate

TORONTO — George Weston Ltd.’s second-quarter profit jumped to $184 million, up from $28 million last year, as it benefited from acquiring direct ownership of a controlling stake in Choice Properties from its subsidiary.

The Toronto-based retail, bakery and real estate business reported $11.6 billion of sales for the quarter that ended June 15, mostly from its Loblaw grocery and pharmacy division, where sales were up 3.2 per cent from $11.2 billion a year earlier.

Among the positive items for Weston was $49 million related to its acquisition last year of majority ownership of the Choice Properties real estate trust, which was spun off by Loblaw to its shareholders in November.

Weston’s diluted net earnings per common share rose to $1.19, from 21 cents per share in last year’s second quarter — below analyst estimates.

But its adjusted net earnings available to common shareholders were $263 million or $1.70 per share, up from $210 million or $1.63 per share last year and above analyst estimates.

Analysts had estimated $1.51 per share of net income and $1.58 per share of adjusted net income, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

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