Supervalu off to 'solid' start for Q1

MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu posted $5.23 billion in net sales for the first quarter, a decrease of 0.1% from $5.24 billion last year, though president and CEO Sam Duncan expressed confidence in the company’s performance, saying it is off to a solid start across business segments.

“Our first-quarter results reflect the investments we are making this year to position the company for future success, and I am pleased with our operating performance,” Duncan said.

Save-A-Lot’s net sales for the quarter were $1.35 billion, a 6.5% increase from $1.27 billion last year, driven by a network identical store sales increase of 5.6%. Identical store sales for corporate stores within the Save-A-Lot network were up 7.2%.

The company’s independent business net sales for the quarter were $2.4 billion, a decrease of 2.6% from $2.46 billion last year, primarily due to lost accounts, including lower sales to one New Albertson’s banner that completed the transition to self-distribution and lower military sales, partially offset by net new business.

Retail Food net sales for the quarter remained flat compared to last year’s $1.43 billion. Identical store sales were up 0.6%.

On March 21, 2013, the company completed the sale of five retail grocery banners — Albertsons, Acme, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Star Market.

Supervalu operates 3,320 stores, which include 1,805 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s food distribution business; 1,325 Save-A-Lot stores, of which 931 are operated by licensee owners; and 190 traditional retail grocery stores.

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