George Weston Limited ("George Weston" or the "Company") (TSX: WN) provided an update relating to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Company and its operating segments continue to play important roles in the current environment and have taken significant steps in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Loblaw experienced a sharp increase in sales beginning in March and has made significant investments across its businesses to ensure that Canadians have continued access to food and pharmacy products and services in-store and on-line, and to provide a safe and secure environment in its stores and pharmacies.
Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust recently announced that it will work with qualifying small businesses and independent tenants who have requested rent relief, on a case by case basis, with rent deferrals for 60 days. Weston Foods has rapidly responded to changes in demand from retail and foodservice customers, is taking action to ensure the reliability of its supply chain, and has enhanced its manufacturing practices to safeguard the health of its workforce and ensure the safety of its products.
Galen G. Weston, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of George Weston Limited, commented that "George Weston's businesses have responded quickly and thoughtfully in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all with a view to supporting their colleagues, customers, tenants, suppliers and their communities. We are proud of the actions being taken at each of Loblaw, Choice Properties and Weston Foods during these unprecedented and challenging times and the extraordinary efforts of our workforce. Our group of companies will continue this important work and will continue to serve the needs of our communities and stakeholders as best as we can."
With these changes and others being implemented by the Company's operating businesses and the uncertainty about the duration and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult to predict with precision how the Company and each of its operating segments will perform for the balance of the year relative to the published guidance from the Company and each of its operating businesses. As a result, the Company is withdrawing the 2020 Outlook contained in its Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2019 (the "Annual MD&A"). The Company expects to release its 2020 first quarter results on May 5, 2020.
George Weston Limited is a Canadian public company founded in 1882. The Company operates through its three reportable operating segments, Loblaw Companies Limited, Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust and Weston Foods. Loblaw provides Canadians with grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty, apparel, general merchandise, financial services and wireless mobile products and services. Choice Properties owns, manages and develops a high-quality portfolio of commercial retail, industrial, office and residential properties across Canada. The Weston Foods operating segment includes a leading North American bakery that offers packaged bread and rolls in Canada as well as frozen and artisan bread and rolls, cakes, donuts, pies, biscuits and alternatives throughout Canada and the U.S.
George Weston Limited and ProfiBusiness.world
April 11, 2020