Big family businesses Loblaw and Swatch reported comfortable growth for the first half of 2013 – although Swatch had a tough act to follow after last year's stellar results.
The Weston family's Canadian grocery chain, Loblaw, announced revenues of CAD$7.5 billion (€5.5 billion) for the second quarter of 2013 – an increase of 2% compared to the same period last year – and a 14.1% increase in net earnings to CAD$178 million.
It said the growth was driven by higher sales of its clothing lines and higher sales at its petrol pumps, while sales of most of its other goods remained flat.
Loblaw also announced this month it is in the process of buying Shoppers Drug Mart, a chain of more than 1,200 pharmacies, for approximately CAD$12.4 billion. The deal will be financed through cash and Loblaw shares and should be completed by early 2014.
Swatch, the Hayek family's Switzerland-based watch and jewellery group, announced steady growth for the first half of 2013.
Its sales grew by a solid 8.7% to CHF4.2 billion (€3.4 billion) – although this is markedly less than the exceptional 14.4% growth it saw over the first half of 2012 following Swatch's heavy investment in increasing production capacity.
Net income increased by 6.1% to CHF768 million.
Swatch described its prospects for the rest of the year as "promising" and noted the financial benefits of its acquisition of jewellery brand Harry Winston in January would only become apparent in the second half of this year.