Billionaire Canadian grocery tycoon Galen Weston Jr. just keeps getting richer
It's been a really good week for billionaire Canadian magnate Galen Weston Jr.'s massive grocery and real estate empire.
First, his company Loblaw Companies Ltd. celebrated an enormous stock price leap of 30 per cent, and just days later, another part of his empire is reporting staggering profits that will further line the pockets of the controversial 49-year-old business tycoon.
Galen Weston Jr.'s grocery and real estate empire, George Weston Limited, reported a massive increase in its net earnings during the third quarter of 2022, the news coming amid the fallout of a very unfortunate PR flub by the billionaire.
"Loblaw and Choice Properties demonstrated their ability to deliver consistent financial and operating results with strong third quarter performance," said Galen G. Weston, Chairman and CEO of George Weston Limited.
"Our operating businesses are focused on serving the needs of customers and tenants on a day-to-day basis all while pursuing robust strategic agendas, positioning us well for continued success."
And when this modern Marie Antoinette and possible Bond villain says the company's performance was strong, he means it.
In the 16 weeks ending on Oct. 8, 2022, the company earned a total revenue of $17.52 billion, with an operating income of $1.47 billion.
George Weston Limited reported net earnings of shareholders at $889 million, an increase of $651 million, or 273.5 per cent, citing "the favourable year-over-year net impact of adjusting items totaling $563 million."
With a net worth of US$8.7 billion, the Weston family is the third-wealthiest in Canada, a position that has earned Galen Weston Jr. much criticism as grocery bills shoot through the roof, a slap on shoppers' wallets that the billionaire attributed to historic inflation.
News of Weston and his empire's added wealth comes weeks after the businessman triggered a firestorm of ire when he issued what was widely considered a tone-deaf email championing a price freeze on all No Name products to "help make a meaningful difference to your grocery budget at a time when you may need it most."
The public didn't exactly take the concession with open arms, accusing one of Canada's wealthiest people of acting like a martyr for shaving a pittance off grocery bills, but only for the brand's lowest-tier products.
And you know who else didn't buy the whole "out of control" inflation excuse? Federal regulators, who launched an official investigation into soaring grocery store profits as customers struggle to make ends meet.
Yet another announcement of shareholder profits for the Weston empire probably won't translate to any savings on your sky-high grocery receipts.
But company shareholders are probably polishing their monocles and clinking champagne glasses over news that third-quarter diluted net earnings per common share sit at $6.14, an increase of $4.56 per common share, or 288.6 per cent.
Loblaw Companies Ltd.
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