MONTREAL, March 11, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - METRO Inc. (TSX: MRU) will invest $420 million over five years in the construction of a new, automated distribution centre for fresh and frozen products in Terrebonne, just north of Montreal, and the expansion of its produce and dairy products distribution centre in Laval. These investments will enable METRO to even better meet the expectations of its current and future customers and to continue its growth. The new Terrebonne distribution centre will open in 2023, while the expansion of the Laval distribution centre will be completed in 2024.
"Our new distribution centre of more than 600,000 square feet in Terrebonne will feature state of the art technologies, allowing us to make significant efficiency gains. We will improve service to our store network with increased accuracy and reduced handling time, in both the distribution centres and the stores. For consumers, these new facilities will result in even more variety and freshness. We will be in an excellent position to pursue our growth in Quebec," said Eric La Flèche, President and Chief Executive Officer, METRO.
METRO has signed an agreement with WITRON, an international leader in food distribution automation, with whom the company is already working in Ontario, where similar facilities are currently under construction. "This $420 million investment in Quebec is in addition to the $400 million investment in Ontario announced in October 2017 for the modernization of our Toronto distribution centres. We are investing in order to remain at the forefront and better meet the expectations of our customers and our merchants, now and in the future," added Mr. La Flèche.
Employees working in METRO's existing meat and frozen food distribution centre in Montreal North and fish and seafood distribution centre in Rivière-des-Prairies/Pointe-aux-Trembles will be transferred to the new distribution centre in Terrebonne. Moreover, the produce and dairy products distribution centre in Laval will be expanded by 50,000 square feet to handle an increased volume of fruits and vegetables. Dairy products will then be distributed from the new Terrebonne facility.
Projected volume growth, combined with the integration of volumes currently distributed by third parties, will allow METRO to maintain stable employment levels in Quebec. The company will work with its employees and the unions involved to facilitate the transition, including the implementation of the required training programs.
About METRO Inc.
With annual sales of more than $16 billion, METRO Inc. is a food and pharmacy leader in Quebec and Ontario. As a retailer, franchisor, distributor, and manufacturer, the company operates or services a network of some 950 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as some 650 drugstores primarily under the Jean Coutu, Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Food Basics Pharmacy banners, providing employment to almost 90,000 people. For more details, visit corpo.metro.ca.
We have used, throughout this press release, different statements that could, within the context of regulations issued by the Canadian Securities Administrators, be construed as being forward-looking information. In general, any statement contained herein that does not constitute a historical fact may be deemed a forward-looking statement. Expressions such as "continue", "pursue", "projected", "should" and other similar expressions as well as the use of the future or the conditional tense are generally indicative of forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained herein are based upon certain assumptions regarding the Canadian food industry, the project described in this press release, the general economy, our annual budget, as well as our 2020 action plan.
These forward-looking statements are not facts and do not provide any guarantees as to the future performance of the Corporation or the realization of such forward-looking statements, but only reflect the estimates and expectations of METRO's management as at the date of publication of this press release. These forward-looking statements are also subject to potential risks, known and unknown, as well as uncertainties that could cause the outcome to differ significantly. The arrival of a new competitor is an example of the risks described under the "Risk Management" section of the 2019 Annual Report which could have an impact on these statements. The Corporation does not intend to update any forward-looking statement contained herein, except as required by applicable law.
SOURCE METRO INC.
For further information: METRO, Media Relations, 514 643-1009 ou 1 800 463-2190, [email protected]