Sales Continue to Drop at Supervalu

As news of its partial sale hit the wires, Minneapolis-based Supervalu Inc. reported third-quarter fiscal 2013 net sales of $7.9 billion compared to $8.3 billion last year, a drop of 5 percent.

Supervalu reports the decrease in Q3 net sales primarily reflects a decline in same-store sales of 4.5 percent for its retail food operations and a 4.1 percent drop for its Save-A-Lot hard-discount chain; the disposition of most of its retail fuel centers, which had contributed $112 million in sales a year ago; and the impact of previously announced store closures.

Adjusted Q3 net earnings were $5 million, or 3 cents per diluted share, compared to $50 million or 24 cents per diluted share a year ago. Gross profit margin for Q3 was $1.68 billion, or 21.2 percent of net sales, compared to $1.81 billion or 21.7 percent of net sales last year.

Q3 retail food net sales were $4.96 billion compared to $5.36 billion last year, a decline of 7.4 percent. Save-A-Lot net sales in Q3 were $966 million compared to $982 million last year, a decrease of 1.6 percent, reflecting a drop in same-store sales and store closures partially offset by 20 new stores being operated at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2013. Q3 independent business net sales were flat – $1.99 billion this year and last year.

Supervalu expects debt reduction for fiscal 2013 to be about $400 million. Cash capital spending is projected to be approximately $500 million, including expenditures for technology, maintenance of fleet and facilities, new Save-A-Lot stores and about 40 store remodels.

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