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This report covers our fiscal year 2021, from May 3, 2020 to May 1, 2021, unless otherwise stated.
This report represents the performance of Empire Company Limited and Sobeys Inc., a wholly – owned subsidiary, headquartered in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. This encompasses the Sobeys Inc. family of brands, including Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Farm Boy, Foodland, FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, Voilà and Lawtons Drugs, covering more than 1,500 stores, 24 distribution centres, and 350 retail fuel locations in all 10 Canadian provinces, employing more than 134,000 individuals.
Unless otherwise stated, data included in the report reflects all Sobeys Inc. operations.
The purchase of Longo’s was completed after the end of fiscal year 2021, and, therefore, has not been included in this report, unless otherwise stated.
This report includes disclosure to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Boards (SASB) Food Retailers & Distributors Standard, available here. As an independent standards – setting organization, SASB has issued sector – specific standards to enable businesses around the globe to identify, manage and communicate financially material sustainability information to their investors.
The information included in this report is based on the topics that are deemed to be most material to the performance of Sobeys Inc., as described here. The selection of topics was made through an in-depth materiality assessment conducted in fiscal year 2021, which included extensive stakeholder engagement, a review of Canadian and global grocery and retail industry leading practices, and a review of sustainability reporting frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Food Retailers & Distributors Standard.
Our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data for Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions reporting was prepared by a third-party consultant. GHG accounting methods and data can be found here. Sources of information referenced that are not related directly to Sobeys Inc. are noted on relevant pages.
This report has been internally reviewed but is not third-party certified or audited. We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this report, but in some cases we made informed assumptions and judgements.
Forward Looking Information
This document contains forward-looking statements which are presented for the purpose of assisting the reader to contextualize Empire and Sobeys Inc.’s (the “Company”) financial position and understand management’s expectations regarding our sustainable business program. These forward-looking statements may not be appropriate for other purposes. Forward-looking statements are identified by words or phrases such as “estimates”, “plans”, “predicts”, “anticipates”, “forecasts” “expects”, “believes”, “intends”, “could”, “may”, “predicts”, “projects”, “will”, “would”, “foresees” and other similar expressions or the negative of these terms.
These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following items:
- The Company’s plans to reduce food waste by 50 per cent by 2025 which may be impacted by several factors, including impacts of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19” or “pandemic”) including changes in customer behaviour; and
- The Company’s plans to eliminate plastic grocery bags from all banners which may be impacted by a change in consumer behaviour due to COVID-19, and the Company’s ability to offer an alternative to plastic grocery bags.
By its nature, forward-looking information requires the Company to make assumptions and is subject to inherent risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements made. For more information on risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may impact the Company’s forward-looking statements, please refer to the Company’s materials filed with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities, including the “Risk Management” section of the fiscal year 2021 annual Management’s Discussion & Analysis.
Although the Company believes the predictions, forecasts, expectations or conclusions reflected in the forward-looking information are reasonable, it can provide no assurance that such matters will prove correct. Readers are urged to consider the risks, uncertainties and assumptions carefully in evaluating the forward-looking information and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking information. The forward-looking information in this document reflects the Company’s current expectations and is subject to change. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements that may be made by or on behalf of the Company other than as required by applicable securities laws.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures & Financial Metrics
There are measures and metrics included in this report that do not have a standardized meaning under generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) and therefore may not be comparable to similarly titled measures and metrics presented by other publicly traded companies. The Company includes these measures and metrics because it believes certain investors use these measures and metrics as a means of assessing financial performance. Empire’s definition of the non-GAAP terms is as follows:
- Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”), is calculated as net earnings, before finance costs (net of finance income), income tax expense, depreciation and amortization of intangibles.
- Adjusted EBITDA is EBITDA excluding certain items to better analyze trends in performance. These adjustments result in a more comparable economic representation. Adjusted EBITDA is reconciled to EBITDA in its respective subsection of the “Operating Results – Full Year” section of the MD&A for applicable years. Adjusted EBITDA for the Food Retailing Segment is reconciled to EBITDA in the “Food Segment Reconciliations” section of the MD&A for applicable years.
- Adjusted net earnings is net earnings, attributable to owners of the Company, excluding certain items to better analyze trends in performance and financial results. These adjustments result in a more comparable economic representation of the underlying business. Adjusted net earnings is reconciled to net earnings in its respective subsection of the “Operating Results – Full Year” section of the MD&A for applicable years. Adjusted net earnings for the Food Retailing Segment is reconciled to net earnings in the “Food Segment Reconciliations” section of the MD&A for applicable years.