Stater Bros. Posts Flat Q1 Sales

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Stater Bros. Posts Flat Q1 Sales

For its first quarter of fiscal 2010 ended Dec. 27, 2009, Stater Bros. Holdings, Inc.’s supermarket sales were relatively flat, decreasing 1.11 percent from the same period in the prior year. Like-store sales fell 2.19 percent, or $20.4 million, in the quarter, vs. the first quarter of fiscal 2009. Consolidated sales were $923.9 million, compared with $959.3 million last year, an overall decline of $35.4 million.

According to the company, the sale of its dairy subsidiary’s assets to Dean Foods during the quarter affected the comparison of sales between the first quarter of fiscal 2010 and the year-ago period, accounting for $25.0 million of the sales decline. Stater Bros. recognized an after-tax gain of $4.7 million from the sale.

“We sold the dairy for the right business reason, which was to protect the jobs of our employees at the dairy while allowing us to focus on our core business of operating supermarkets that provide outstanding value and service to our [shoppers],” explained Stater Bros. Holdings chairman, president and CEO Jack H. Brown.

The grocer’s financial performance wasn’t all bleak, though: net income for the quarter was $6.7 million, compared with $3.5 million last year.

“Our economy continues to have a negative effect on the family budgets of our customers,” noted Brown. Our emphasis in these tough economic times is to retain customers by providing value so our customers get the most out of their shopping dollars, while providing them with a friendly and satisfying experience on each and every one of their visits to our supermarkets.

“While our quarterly like-store sales declined over the previous year, our customer counts were up over the same time last year,” he continued. “We remain committed to cost control as we navigate through this national economic recovery.”

The largest privately held supermarket chain in Southern California, San Bernardino, Calif.-based Stater Bros. Holdings operates 167 supermarkets through its wholly owned subsidiary, Stater Bros. Markets.