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SuperValu beats Q4 profit; sales fall at Save-A-Lot


SuperValu Inc. on Tuesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit that beat expectations. But in a setback to plans to spin-off its deep-discount banner, same-store sales fell 2.2% at Save-A-Lot.

SuperValu earnings in the quarter increased to $52 million, or 20 cents a share, up from $39 million, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding debt refinancing, store closures and expenses related to the potential Save-A-Lot spinoff, adjusted per-share earnings rose to 23 cents.

Revenue fell 10% to $3.95 billion, worse than expected. All three of Supervalu's main businesses experienced weak sales trends.

At Save-A-Lot, sales were flat at $1.06 billion, and adjusted operating earnings were $25 million, down from $50 million a year ago, amid higher store occupancy and employee costs.

SuperValu's traditional supermarket chains reported sales of $1.11 billion, down from $1.14 billion a year ago. Retail operating earnings in the fourth quarter were $30 million, down from $44 million a year ago, amid higher employee costs.

The company’s wholesale grocery division had $1.74 billion in sales compared to $1.83 billion last year, excluding sales from an additional week in 2015.

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

For the year, SuperValu reported profit of $178 million, or 66 cents per share. Revenue was reported as $17.53 billion.

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