George Weston Ltd. says it incurred about $312-million in COVID-19 related costs, in a July 28, 2020 story. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

George Weston loses $255 million in second quarter on COVID-related costs

Net profit decreased to $142 million

TORONTO — George Weston Ltd. is reporting a $255-million loss in its latest quarter despite a 6.5 per cent increase in revenues as its operations were significantly affected by COVID-19.

The retail, bakery and real estate business says it lost $1.66 per share for the period ended June 13, compared with a $1.19 per share or $184-million profit in the second quarter of 2019.

George Weston says it incurred about $312-million in COVID-19 related costs, mainly from Loblaw Companies Ltd. but also Weston Foods and Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust.

Excluding one-time items, its adjusted net profit decreased 46 per cent to $142 million or 93 cents per share, down from $263 million or $1.70 per share in the prior year.

Revenue increased to $12.36 billion from $11.6 billion.

The Toronto-based company missed expectations as it was expected to earn $1.41 per share in adjusted profits on $12.5 billion of revenues, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

“Our businesses in retail, real estate and consumer goods continued to take thoughtful and deliberate actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, delivered essential goods and services to customers, tenants and communities, all while remaining committed to our longer-term strategic priorities,” said chairman and CEO Galen G. Weston.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2020.

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