Jean Coutu reports increase for Q1

LONGUEUIL, Quebec The Jean Coutu Group on Tuesday reported an 8.2 percent increase in operating income, which totaled $55.5 million (in U.S. currency) for the first quarter ending Sept. 1, and includes the company’s share of Rite Aid’s results.

The share of the loss in the Jean Coutu Group’s first quarter 2008 earnings amounted to $30.3 million.

“We are satisfied with our first quarter results,” stated Jean Coutu, the Group’s chairman. “We continued to improve sales growth and operating performance in our Canadian network while Rite Aid began the integration of the acquired Brooks Eckerd stores. As expected, this integration will require a lot of effort and resources initially, but will result in even stronger synergies than anticipated when the transaction was closed.”

The company also announced Tuesday that Francois Coutu will resume command of the Canadian operations as president aand chief executive officer of the company. Jean Coutu, who assumed control of the Jean Coutu Group shortly before talks between Rite Aid and the Canadian drug store chain commenced over the sale of Brooks and Eckerd, will continue as Jean Coutu Group chairman.

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