First quarter profits are down for Stellarton-based Empire Company. Empire, the parent company of the Sobeys grocery store chain. reported net earning in the opening three months of its fiscal year at $65.4 million. That’s down $43.4 million or 39.9 per cent from the same period last year.
Its western Canadian business unit continues to sputter. Same store sales excluding fuel down 1.2 per cent. If the negative impact of fuel sales and its western retail unit were removed from the calculation, same store sales would have risen 0.6 per cent.