Weekly earnings inch up
AVERAGE weekly earnings in Manitoba grew at one of the slowest paces in the country in February (0.1 per cent), Statistics Canada said Thursday.
However, the number of non-farm payroll employees in the province — people who work for someone, as opposed to being self-employed — grew at the fastest pace (1.4 per cent), the agency added.
It said average weekly earnings rose to $832.68 from $831.97 in January. The only other province with a weaker showing was New Brunswick, where earnings were unchanged. The national average increase was 0.9 per cent. The meagre earnings growth allowed Quebec to leapfrog over Manitoba into sixth place on the provincial earnings scale, at $833.71. Alberta remained at the top, with average earnings of $1,099.77, while the national average in February was $908.87.
For the February-to-February period, earnings in Manitoba grew at the fifth-fastest pace (3.1 per cent) in the country. That matched the national average increase for the period.
On the employment side, Manitoba added 8,100 payroll employees in February, boosting the province’s total to 581,400 from 573,300 in January.
N.Y. Times’ earnings sink
NEW YORK — The New York Times Co. reported a sharp decline in its first-quarter earnings on Thursday, mainly because businesses it sold last year were not included in the latest results.
The company earned $3.1 million, or 2 cents per share, in the January-March period. That’s down 93 per cent from $42.1 million, or 28 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.
Excluding severance costs and the results of businesses the company has sold, earnings were four cents per share in the latest quarter, matching Wall Street’s expectations but down from five cents per share in the first quarter of 2012.
Starbucks’ profits rise
NEW YORK — Starbucks Corp. says its profit rose in its second fiscal quarter as the world’s biggest coffee company saw sales increase in the U.S. and Asia.
The Seattle-based company, which has more than 18,000 locations around the world, raised its outlook for the year. But total sales came in shy of Wall Street expectations and its shares fell in afterhours trading.
Starbucks is facing more competition from restaurant chains that have been expanding their coffee menus to include more lattes and frozen drinks.
Amazon income drops
NEW YORK — Amazon.com Inc.’s net income declined in the first three months of the year even though revenue increased 22 per cent, as the online retailer continued to spend heavily on order fulfilment and rights to digital content.
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer and the seller of Kindle devices and services, said Thursday that it earned $82 million, or 18 cents per share, in the first quarter. That’s down 37 per cent from $130 million, or 28 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. But it’s higher than the 7 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet.
Revenue rose 22 per cent to $16.07 billion, from $13.19 billion. Analysts expected $16.14 billion.
Amazon’s operating expenses rose 22 per cent to $15.9 billion, from $13 billion. The company has been investing a lot of its income in enhancing its distribution network, its shopping website and its Kindle business as part of a long-term growth plan. Because of that, and deep discounts it offers customers, Amazon’s profit margins have been thin.
For the current quarter, Amazon expects revenue of $14.5 billion to $16.2 billion. Analysts had expected $15.92 billion.
Shoppers stays cautious
TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. (TSX:SC) is keeping a cautious tone as the pharmacy retailer heads into a year where it will look for ways to grow its business amid the uncertainty from U.S. retailer Target.
The company posted relatively flat earnings on Thursday, with profits rising to $119.5 million, or 59 cents per share, from $118.8 million, or 56 cents, a year ago, which met analyst expectations according to a poll from Thomson Reuters.
Sales in the quarter amounted to $2.49 billion, up from $2.39 billion, while same-store sales were up 2.5 per cent in the quarter ended March 23.
— from staff, the news services