Metro Canada has announced that sales increased 1.7% to CAD2.65bn (£1.56bn) in the first quarter of the year. The rise was achieved despite a slight drop in basket value and tough comparatives last year, when high food price inflation and the temporary closing of several stores of a competitor had a positive impact on first-quarter sales. Same-store sales were “stable” during the quarter, and net earnings rose 21% CAD98.1m (£57.9m).

Metro president and chief executive Eric R La Flèche said: “We are pleased with our first-quarter results. The economic environment remains challenging. However, we are confident that we will continue our growth in 2010.”