Supervalu Reports $3.95B in Sales for Q4

Minneapolis-based wholesaler Supervalu reported net sales of $3.95 billion and net earnings of $49 million for its fiscal 2016 fourth quarter. When adjusted for $15 million in after-tax charges and costs related to debt refinancing, store closures and impairments, employee severance and the potential sale of Save-A-Lot, Q4 net earnings came in at $64 million.

“Although fourth quarter sales were softer than we had forecast, I am optimistic about our future prospects ad pleased at our ability to manage adjusted EBITDA to finish in-line with our expectations,” said Mark Gross, president/CEO, adding: "We have a lot of positives to build on as we move forward.”

Total net sales for Q4 in the wholesale segment were down 4.8 percent compared to the previous year; $1.74 billion compared to last year’s $1.83 billion. The downturn was attributed to lost accounts and lower sales to existing customers. Wholesale operating earnings for Q4 were $50 million or 2.9 percent of net sales compared to last year’s $63 million and 3.2 percent of net sales.

Save-A-Lot identical store sales were down 2.2 percent with corporate Save-A-Lot identical store sales down 1.3 percent. Q4 net sales accounted for $1.06 billion, a decrease of 0.8 compared to the previous year, while operating earnings were $14 million or 1.4 percent of net sales. When adjusted for $9 million in store closure and impairment charges and $2 million of severance costs, operating earnings were $25 million or 2.4 percent of sales; last year, adjusted operating earnings were $50 million or 4.4 percent of net sales. The decrease in operating earnings as a percent of sales was due to higher employee and store occupancy costs, and higher inventory shrink.

Retail segment identical store sales decreased 3.9 percent in Q4 and net sales were $1.11 billion, compared to $1.14 billion last year, a decline of 2.6 percent. Retail operating earnings for the quarter were $30 million or 2.7 percent of net sales, compared to last year’s $44 million or 3.6 percent of sales. The decline was driven by lower base margins, higher inventory shrink and higher employee costs.

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