Canada’s Rona details growth strategy

Toronto Rona, Canada's biggest home-improvement chain, plans to boost earnings per share by 10% to 15% over the next two years and bulk up its national presence by adding new stores and bringing some of its other chains under one banner.

The company, which has about 700 stores across Canada, said during an investor presentation that it would also continue its aggressive growth strategy by looking for further acquisition opportunities.

The overall aim of Rona's "New World Program" is to boost its share of the Canadian market to 20% from its present 17.5%. It also sees same-store sales growth of about 2.5%.

This follows a disappointing quarter in which the company's results hit by weak consumer sentiment and a weak home-renovation market.

In November it reported that its quarterly earnings fell to C$49.1 million ($46 million), from C$52.5 million a year earlier.

Revenue fell 4.4% to C$1.32 billion as same-store sales dropped 5.3%.

The company aims to focus on growing in the Ontario market as well as in Western Canada, through renovating and expanding existing stores, as well as by acquiring other chains.

It plans to open 10 stores a year for the next two years, and will bring its Cashway and Lansing chains, which were bought a number of years ago, under the Rona banner.

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