Quebec-Based Jean Coutu Group Announces Expansion Program Following Swine Flu Vaccine Revenue Windfall

Jean Coutu Group hopes its expansion program will help the Quebec-based pharmacy giant maintain its upward sales momentum, which got a short-term boost last fall from concerns over the H1N1 flu outbreak.

"If I was a competitor, I would hate to see Jean Coutu investing more, but that's what we're doing. We're on a roll and we're planning to add more stores and renovating more stores," chief executive Francois Coutu said Friday.

Quebec drugstore giant Jean Coutu Group Inc. turned a nifty third quarter profit, partly thanks to swine flu concerns and the opening of more stores, the company reported Friday.

Jean Coutu, which has 366 drugstores across Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, earned $44.6 million, or $0.19 a share, for the third-month period ended Nov. 28, 2009.