Preliminary financial and operational results for the second quarter
indicate strong same store sales in supermarket and pharmacy
businesses. Expected to advance operational and business performance
of the Company in the balance of the year, synergy targets on track
BRAMPTON, ON, July 17, 2014 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of Loblaw
Companies Limited (TSX: L) today announced that Galen G. Weston,
Executive Chairman, has also been appointed as President, effective
immediately. Thomas O'Neill, Lead Independent Director, confirmed the
appointment as part of a series of management changes at the Company.
As Executive Chairman, Mr. Weston is responsible for setting the
strategic direction of the Company and in leading the Board. In
assuming the position of President, Mr. Weston will also be responsible
for the execution of the Company's strategy, leadership of the
management team and its overall business performance.
Mr. Weston has an extensive background in Canadian retail, and an
intimate knowledge of the business and its talent. He has been the
strategic architect of reshaping the grocery business, as well as
transforming Loblaw into a diversified portfolio of complementary
businesses, including the creation of Choice Properties and the
acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart.
"I am excited about the future, and the opportunity to execute on the
strategic vision we have built for the Company. I am confident that
Loblaw will continue to advance its business both financially and
operationally and be well positioned to create long-term sustainable
value," commented Mr. Weston.
The Company also announced the following additional management changes
Vicente Trius, President since August 2011, will be leaving the business
effective today for family reasons to return to Brazil. In commenting
on Vicente's departure, Mr. Weston said: "Vicente has made an enormous
impact on virtually every aspect of our business in the time that he
has been with the Company. Our businesses are stronger, our customer
proposition more compelling, and our operating effectiveness much
improved. He has set a strong foundation for the future.
"When we release our second quarter results next week," continued Mr.
Weston, "You will see that Vicente and the team have delivered another
solid quarter in a very competitive supermarket environment, with
synergies, SAP and efficiencies on track. With the business in very
good shape, Vicente felt it was the right time to leave Loblaw. I
respect his decision, and on behalf of the Board and all of our
colleagues in the business, I thank him for his many contributions."
The Company also announced that Domenic Pilla, President of Shoppers
Drug Mart, is leaving by the end of 2014. Mr. Weston commented that,
"Domenic has done an outstanding job at Shoppers Drug Mart since he
joined the business almost three years ago. He played a pivotal role
in the negotiation of the agreement to acquire Shoppers Drug Mart last
year, and since then Domenic has been actively engaged in driving
Shoppers Drug Mart's business to deliver on its plan. As well, Domenic
has been focused on working with the team to ensure we realize the
synergies identified for the combined businesses as a result of the
acquisition. Domenic is leaving as he would like to continue his career
by pursuing opportunities to lead a widely-held public company, and we
are respectful of his decision.
"For the balance of the year, Domenic will remain as President of
Shoppers Drug Mart and be fully engaged in the business. In addition
to his normal duties, Domenic will work very closely with me to deliver
on several important initiatives, including the transition to a new
President of Shoppers Drug Mart. I have every confidence that Domenic
will continue to make a significant contribution in the second half of
the year," concluded Mr. Weston.
New organizational structure to drive business performance and deliver
efficiencies and synergies
As part of the new management structure to support the Company's
evolving business, Mr. Weston appointed seasoned operational leaders to
assume the following key roles:
Richard Dufresne, will assume the role of Chief Financial Officer of
Loblaw. As CFO of Loblaw, Mr. Dufresne's key responsibilities will be
delivering the financial plan of the organization; achieving the
targeted synergies related to the Shoppers Drug Mart acquisition; and
de-leveraging the balance sheet. Mr. Dufresne will retain his role as
Chief Financial Officer at George Weston Limited.
Sarah Davis, previously Chief Financial Officer, will become Chief
Administrative Officer, responsible for Supply Chain, IT (including SAP
implementation), Goods Not for Resale, Loblaw Properties and
Strategy. Her key objective will be to deliver efficiencies across the
organization, including those resulting from the implementation of SAP.
Ms. Davis, who was appointed CFO in 2010, has an exceptional
understanding of the Company. This, in combination with her strong
financial background, particularly in operational roles, will be
instrumental in driving Loblaw to achieve additional operational
Grant Froese, previously Chief Administrative Officer, becomes Chief
Operating Officer of the Company. In this new role, Mr. Froese will be
responsible for the operating performance of the Market, Discount and
Emerging Business grocery operations, as well as the division support
functions of Control Brands, e-Commerce, and Off-shore Procurement.
Grant is a strong merchant with over 30 years of food retail experience
and a strong record of delivering results.
Mike Motz, currently EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer, will become
the President of Shoppers Drug Mart effective on the departure of
Domenic Pilla, and will be responsible for delivering the strategic and
operational plan for Shoppers Drug Mart, continuing on the strong
foundation Mr. Pilla has built. Mr. Motz, an 11 year veteran of the
business, was instrumental, with Mr. Pilla, in increasing Shoppers Drug
Mart's competitiveness, customer offer, and loyalty program.
The rest of the broader management team remain unchanged.
"I am very confident in the exceptionally talented team at Loblaw," said
Mr. Weston. "This positions us well to leverage the potential of the
new retail organization and drive financial performance."
Second quarter 2014 financial results were solid, delivering strong same
store sales in both the supermarket and pharmacy businesses
Mr. Weston further went on to comment on the Company's financial and
operational performance for the second quarter of 2014, "Against the
backdrop of an extremely competitive supermarket environment and the
deflationary pressure of regulatory drug reform, our business continues
to perform well, with strong same store sales growth in our supermarket
and pharmacy businesses. We expect to continue to successfully execute
on our strategy in the second half of the year, as well as make
material progress on our synergy targets," continued Mr. Weston.
"Since we announced the deal to acquire Shoppers Drug Mart over a year
ago, we have made tremendous progress in realizing key deliverables
that underpinned the transaction. Our two businesses are working well
together and we are on track to deliver the first $100 million in
synergies by the end of the first quarter of 2015."
Complete information about the second quarter performance of the Company
will be contained in the second quarter results to be released on July
Conference Call Information
Loblaw will be hosting a conference call and webcast to discuss today's
announcement at 9:00 a.m. (ET). Please note that the Company will not
be addressing its second quarter results on the call and will only
address questions related to today's announcement.
To access the call, please dial (416) 204-9269 or (800) 499-4035. The
playback will be made available approximately two hours after the event
at (647) 436-0148 or (888) 203-1112, access code: 1768897. To access
via audio webcast please go to the "Investor Centre" section of loblaw.ca.
About Loblaw Companies Limited
Loblaw Companies Limited is Canada's food and pharmacy leader, the
nation's largest retailer, and the majority unitholder of Choice
Properties Real Estate Investment Trust. Loblaw provides Canadians with
grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise,
banking, and wireless mobile products and services. With more than
2,300 corporate, franchised and Associate-owned locations, Loblaw, its
franchisees, and Associate-owners employ approximately 192,000 full-
and part-time employees, making it one of Canada's largest private
Loblaw's purpose - Live Life Well - puts first the needs and well-being
of Canadians who make one billion transactions annually in the
Company's stores. Loblaw is positioned to meet and exceed those needs
in many ways: convenient locations; more than 1,050 grocery stores that
span the value spectrum from discount to specialty; full-service
pharmacies at more than 1,250 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix
locations and more than 500 Loblaw locations; no-fee banking with PC
Financial; affordable Joe Fresh fashion and family apparel; and three
of Canada's top consumer brands in Life Brand®, no name® and
President's Choice®. Through the PC Plus™ and Shoppers Optimum® loyalty
programs, more than one in every three Canadians are rewarded for
shopping with the companies.
For more information, visit Loblaw's website at www.loblaw.ca and Loblaw's issuer profile at www.sedar.com.
Certain statements in this News Release for Loblaw Companies Limited
("Loblaw") contain forward-looking statements. Forward-looking
statements are typically identified by words such as "expect",
"anticipate", "believe", "foresee", "could", "estimate", "goal",
"intend", "plan", "seek", "strive", "will", "may", "indicate", and
"should" and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements reflect
current estimates, beliefs and assumptions, which are based on Loblaw's
perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future
developments, as well as other factors management believes are
appropriate in the circumstances. Loblaw's estimates, beliefs and
assumptions are inherently subject to significant business, economic,
competitive and other uncertainties, risks, and contingencies regarding
future events and as such, are subject to change. Loblaw can give no
assurance that such estimates, beliefs and assumptions will prove to be
correct. Additional information on these uncertainties, risks and
contingencies are included in reports filed by Loblaw with applicable
securities regulatory authorities and may be accessed through the SEDAR
This News Release contains forward-looking statements concerning the
announced management changes, the state of Loblaw's business, goals and
ongoing objectives including the Company's second quarter 2014
financial results; same store sales results for the second quarter; the
Company's future strategic plans; the outlook for the balance of the
year; and anticipated synergies from the acquisition of Shoppers Drug
All of the forward-looking statements made in this News Release are
qualified by these cautionary statements. Readers are cautioned not to
place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect
Loblaw's expectations only as of the date of this News Release. Loblaw
disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking
statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or
otherwise, except as required by law.
SOURCE: Loblaw Companies Limited
For further information:
Media Enquiries, contact:
Loblaw Companies Limited, Vice President Corporate Affairs and Communication
Investors Enquiries, contact:
Loblaw Companies Limited, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations
Telephone: (905) 861-2127