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UWG's Q4 Earnings Jump 50 Percent

COMMERCE, Calif. -- Retailer investments into their operations drove strong sales and revenues for regional wholesaler Unified Western Grocers, Inc., which saw net earnings jump almost 50 percent during its fourth quarter ended January 1, 2006.

Unified achieved net earnings of $5.8 million for the period, an increase of 49.6 percent over the prior year. Sales during the period also were strong at $750.8 million, an increase of 2.9 percent over the last year. The company attributed its performance to new stores opened by members, continued sales growth in the company's perishables and specialty products divisions and continued benefits from workers compensation reform in California.

"Our results for the first quarter were very strong as member retailers continue to invest in their businesses and we continue to provide the products and services our members need to be successful in the marketplace," said Al Plamann, Unified's president and c.e.o.. "This formula has generated some exceptional results for Unified and its retail members over the past several years.

"We have a number of initiatives that will help us grow sales, we continue to be vigilant about cost control and are working hard to increase the overall efficiency of our distribution network," Plamann said. "It appears that 2006 will be another good year for Unified."

Unified Western Grocers is a retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor that supplies independent retailers throughout the Western United States. Unified and its subsidiaries, generated approximately $2.9 billion in sales during fiscal 2005.
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