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Jean Coutu Group 'satisfied' with Q3, seeking acquisition opportunities


LONGUEUIL, Quebec — Canada’s Jean Coutu Group is well positioned to capitalize on the industry’s growth and, going forward, is focused on improving operations and seeking acquisition opportunities, Francois Coutu, president and CEO, told analysts during its third quarter conference call Thursday morning.

“Whenever there is an opportunity we will look at them, and if it is good for Jean Coutu we are strongly positioned to grasp those opportunities at this time,” Coutu told analysts. “If they [opportunities] are not there, we are focusing on obviously improving our operations. We will bring this year in our retail stores a state-of-the-art point-of-sale system … and will have a new operating distributing center next year.”

Meanwhile, the company expressed satisfaction with the results of its third quarter ended Nov. 29.

Revenues totaled Canadian $736.7 million during the quarter, compared with C$712.5 million in the year-ago period. Revenues consist mainly of sales and other revenues derived from franchising activities. Merchandise sales to PJC franchisees made mostly through its distribution centers account for the greater part of revenues.

Network retail sales increased 3.6% to C$1.05 billion, while consolidated sales were up 3.8% to C$666.6 million.

Total same-store sales increased 3.1%. Same-store front-end sales increased 2% as pharmacy same-store sales increased 3.8%.

Net profit amounted to C$56.0 million (30 Canadian cents per share) during the quarter compared with C$62.5 million (30 Canadian cents per share) in the year-ago period. The decrease in net profit is attributable to the increase of the share-based payments instruments expenses.

“We are satisfied with the results of the third quarter of fiscal year 2015. Front-end sales showed a good increase during that period in spite of a very competitive environment,” Coutu told analysts.

During the quarter, the company proposed various health-related initiatives to its customers, such as the distribution of more than 14,000 free diabetes kits and 14,000 free food allergy kits to consumers.


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