Combined effects dampen Spartan's Q4, fiscal-year earnings

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Combined effects of a bad economy, price deflation and sold or closed stores dampened sales for Midwestern supermarket operator Spartan Stores in fourth-quarter 2010, causing a drop to $558.8 million, compared with $581.3 million in fourth-quarter 2009, the company said in an earnings report Wednesday. Spartan’s fiscal year ended March 27.

Sales for the fiscal year as a whole saw a smaller decrease, falling to $2.55 billion, compared with $2.58 billion in fiscal year 2009. Profits for fourth quarter 2010 were $13.7 million, compared with $17.3 million in fourth quarter 2009. Profits for the year were $63.5 million, compared with $72.7 million in 2009.

“We expect to generate improved cash flow, to further strengthen our balance sheet and to execute additional elements of our consumer-centric business strategy during fiscal 2011,” Spartan president and CEO Dennis Eidson said. “Following our aggressive capital investment program during the past two years, our retail store base is in good physical condition.”

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