“Both Loblaw and Choice Properties delivered strong operational and financial performance in the quarter. As expected, results in Weston Foods were down compared to the first quarter of 2020, reflecting the negative impact of the resurgence of the pandemic and resulting stricter lockdown measures on certain segments of the business. Looking through that impact, the business delivered strong operational performance metrics and we expect that as lockdowns ease, Weston Foods will be well positioned to return to the momentum demonstrated in the fourth quarter of 2020.”
Loblaw Companies Limited (“Loblaw”) generated strong financial results in the first quarter of 2021. Revenue increased despite Loblaw’s retail sales lapping the significant increase in demand for essential items in the final two weeks of the first quarter of 2020. Loblaw’s results reflect continued momentum and positive consumer response to the value and services it provides and its expanding online solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated certain longer-term trends, enabling Loblaw to advance its strategic growth areas of Everyday Digital Retail, Connected Healthcare Network and Payments and Rewards.
Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (“Choice Properties”) collected 98% of contractual rents, reflecting the stability of its necessity-based portfolio. Choice Properties continued to advance its development initiatives, announcing a partnership to develop and revitalize the Golden Mile Shopping Centre in Toronto and, subsequent to the end of the quarter, it acquired an 85% interest in 300 acres of future industrial development land in the Greater Toronto Area.
Weston Foods’ performance in the first quarter of 2021 reflected solid underlying fundamentals but was negatively impacted by the resurgence of COVID-19 in late 2020 and resulting stricter lockdown measures implemented in many regions of Canada and the United States. The impact was most significant in retail celebratory categories such as cakes, certain foodservice channels and in the Girl Scout cookie business due to restrictions on in-person sales. The year-over-year negative impact of lower volumes and a full quarter of COVID-19 related costs was partially offset by lower distribution costs and other cost savings initiatives, operational improvements in service levels and manufacturing efficiencies. As COVID-19 restrictions ease, Weston Foods is well positioned to return to the positive momentum delivered in the fourth quarter of 2020.
See full news release here.