Supervalu shows higher net earnings for quarter

Supervalu shows higher net earnings for quarter

MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu on Thursday reported $31 million in net earnings for the quarter that ended Nov. 30 — up from $16 million from the same quarter a year earlier.

The grocery wholesaler and retailer — which has a wholesale distribution center in Urbana and the W. Newell & Son produce distribution center in Champaign — said that for shareholders, that amounted to diluted earnings of 12 cents per share, up from 8 cents per share a year earlier.

Those results came on net sales of $4.01 billion, down from $4.05 billion a year earlier.

Net sales for Supervalu's Independent Business division, which serves independent retailers, were down 3.7 percent, primarily because of lower sales to existing customers and the loss of two larger customers.

Meanwhile, net sales for the company's Save-A-Lot discount-grocery-store division were up 2.6 percent. Sales for Supervalu's regional grocery brands didn't fare as well, notching a decline of 2.6 percent.

Supervalu had a major restructuring in early 2013, selling off several of its larger regional retail chains, including Albertson's and Jewel-Osco.

If only continuing operations are compared, the company had net earnings per share of 12 cents in the most recent quarter, a reversal of the net loss of 7 cents a share it had in the same quarter last year.

For the first nine months of Supervalu's fiscal year, the net loss from continuing operations has been 13 cents a share, an improvement from the 42-cents-a-share net loss it had during the comparable nine months in 2012.

Company CEO Sam Duncan said the company still has "work to do" to improve sales, but said it made "positive strides" in all three of its business segments to position the company for growth.

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