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Empire Tumbles as Safeway Stores Struggle in Western Canada

  • Company posts 1.8% decline in same-store sales, loss in 4Q
  • CEO Poulin sees softening trend in other parts of country

Empire Co., the parent of the Canadian grocery chain Sobeys, plunged to its lowest in more than three years after posting a C$942.6 million ($725 million) quarterly loss amid weak sales in the western part of the country.

Shares of the company tumbled 10 percent to C$19.51 at 1:46 p.m. in Toronto, the most since March 10 and the lowest level since January 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based company is down 24 percent this year, one of only two decliners and the worst-performer in the 11-member S&P/TSX Consumer Staples Index.