George Weston Limited: Reports Q4-2020 Results

Toronto / CA. (gwl) George Weston Limited (GWL) announced its consolidated unaudited results for the 13 weeks ended December 31, 2020. As a result of the Company’s reporting calendar, the fourth quarter and full year 2020 include an extra week of operations («the 53rd week») compared to 2019.

«George Weston performed well during the fourth quarter,» said Galen G. Weston, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, George Weston Limited. «Our businesses showed resilience in the face of challenging circumstances as they delivered improved results across the board. Looking forward, as Covid-19 impacts continue to add short-term uncertainty, we remain confident in the long-term value creation opportunities for each of them.»

Loblaw Companies Limited delivered positive results with strong same-store and e-commerce sales growth in a quarter heavily impacted by Covid-19. Costs remained elevated to ensure the safety and security of customers and colleagues. Loblaw continued to deliver value in categories that mean the most to its customers and focused on accelerating its three strategic growth areas of Everyday Digital Retail, Payments and Rewards, and Connected Healthcare Network.

Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust generated solid results in the fourth quarter, reflecting stable earnings as it collected 98 percent of contractual rents. This strong performance was underpinned by improvements to the overall quality of the portfolio through effective capital recycling. In the fourth quarter, Choice Properties completed approximately USD 550 million of transactions, including four acquisitions and five dispositions, and remained disciplined in its capital spending on development initiatives. Choice Properties remains confident that this deliberate approach to financial and asset management will enable it to continue to manage the risks and uncertainties associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and position it for long-term growth.

Weston Foods’ sales and earnings improved in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter despite the negative impact of Covid-19. The reintroduction of government-mandated closures of non-essential businesses, stay-at-home orders and mandatory social distancing restrictions in several regions led to lower volumes, with the negative impact being more significant in the second half of the quarter. These pressures were offset in part by the on-going cost savings and productivity improvements and the benefits realized from Weston Foods’ transformation program, as well as better sales performance in certain retail categories and foodservice channels. As a result, Weston Foods remains well-positioned to achieve long-term growth through its strategic framework while delivering superior products and services to its customers and consumers.

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