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Albertsons finishes year strong as consumers return to stores; review ongoing

Albertsons’ fourth-quarter net sales and other revenue rose to $17.4 billion from $15.8 billion in the year-ago period.

Albertsons Cos. turned in a strong fourth-quarter performance even as its digital growth slowed amid a rebound in store traffic.

In February, the grocery giant, which is the nation’s second-largest supermarket operator, announced the start of a board-led review of “potential strategic alternatives” aimed at enhancing growth and maximizing shareholder value. On Tuesday, Albertsons said the board has not set a timetable for the conclusion of this review or made any decisions related to any further actions or potential strategic alternatives at this time.

Albertsons’ net income was $455.1 million or $0.79 per share, for the quarter ended Feb. 26, which included the $78.7 million or $0.14 per share gain, net of tax, related to the Combined Plan withdrawal, compared to a net loss of $144.2 million, or $0.37 per share, in the year-ago period.

Net sales and other revenue rose to $17.4 billion, from $15.8 billion last year. The increase was driven a 7.5% increase in identical sales and higher fuel sales, with retail price inflation contributing to the identical sales increase. On a two-year stacked basis, identical sales growth was 19.3%.

Digital sales increased 5%. On a two-year stacked basis, digital sales growth was 287%.

For the full year, Albertsons’ identical sales decreased 0.1%; on a two-year stacked basis identical sales growth was 16.8%. Digital sales increased 5%; on a two-year stacked basis digital sales growth was 263%.

During fiscal 2021, capital expenditures came to $1,606.5 million, which primarily included investments in the modernization of Albertsons’ stores, including 236 remodels and the opening of 10 new locations, as well as the building of digital and technology platforms.

[Read More: Albertsons ensures product freshness with AI]

“We are pleased with our fourth quarter and full-year 2021 results and the continuing momentum we are seeing as we enter 2022," said Vivek Sankaran, CEO. "Our strategy is working, and we are executing well against industry-wide pressures.

As of February 26, 2022, Albertsons operated 2,276 retail stores, 402 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. The company operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia with 24 banners including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balducci's Food Lovers Market.

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