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Stater Bros. Reports Record Sales and Earnings

COLTON, Calif. - The windfall from the Southern California lockout/strike showed itself in record sales and earnings for Stater Bros. here.

For the fifty-two week fiscal year ended Sept. 26, the company set a new sales record with sales of $3.7 billion, a rise of 34.5 percent vs. sales of $2.8 billion for the 2003 fiscal year. Sales for the fourth quarter of 2004 were $840.9 million, an increase of 18.9 percent over $707.0 million for the year-ago period.

Like-store sales for fiscal 2004 shot up 30.3 percent. For the fourth quarter, like-stores sales jumped 13.4 percent over the year-ago period.

Stater Bros. posted a record net income of $71.8 million the year, compared with $10.1 million last year. The results for the fourth quarters of 2004 and 2003 showed a net income of $12.7 million and $2.6 million, respectively.

Operations during the year were favorably affected by the Southern California grocer's strike, the company said, adding that the impact of the event on Stater Bros. was "unprecedented and . . . not expected to be repeated in the future."

In a statement chairman, president, and c.e.o. Jack H. Brown said: "The results of the fourth quarter and year-to-date reflect our continuing effort to provide a friendly and satisfying shopping experience to our valued customers at a reasonable price for the items they want and need. We have been able to protect our sales base by focusing on customer service and value, the core of the Stater Bros. concept."

Stater Bros. Holdings, Inc., the largest privately held supermarket chain in Southern California, runs 159 supermarkets through its wholly owned subsidiary, Stater Bros. Markets.
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