Skyrocketing online sales drive Albertsons Q4 performance

Marianne Wilson
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Albertsons Companies continued to reap the benefits of strong online demand in its fourth quarter, reporting its fourth consecutive quarter of 200%-plus digital growth.

The grocer reported a net loss of $144.2 million or $0. 37 cents per share for the quarter ended Feb. 27, which included a $449.4 million charge, net of tax, related to the company's combined pension plan, compared to net income of $67.8 million, or $0.12 cents per share in the year-ago period. Adjusted net income was $347.2 million, or $.60 cents per share compared to $194.2 million, or $0. 33 cents per share last year. 

Net revenue rose to $15.77 billion were up from $15.44 billion. Digital sales soared 282%. Comp sales rose 11.8%.

Albertsons has been enhancing its digital capabilities to grow online sales, which have accelerated throughout the pandemic.  In March, the retailer entered into a partnership with Google to develop a wide range of omnichannel customer services, including everything from hyper-local shoppable maps to predictive grocery list building.  

For the full year, Albertsons sales and other revenue totaled $69.7 billion compared to $62.5 billion the previous year. The increase in sales was primarily driven by the company's 16.9% increase in identical sales, partially offset by lower fuel sales and the extra week in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019. Identical sales also benefited from the company’s 258% growth in digital sales. Net income was $850.2 million or $1.47 per share compared to net income of $466.4 million or $0.80 per share during fiscal 2019.

"As a result of our strong execution, we delivered record full-year results, drove meaningful market share gains and are well-positioned for continued success and strong performance in fiscal 2021,” said Vivek Sankaran, president and CEO. “We have made substantial progress against our strategic priorities, and are still in the early innings of our transformation journey. Looking ahead, we remain committed to further strengthening our relationships with our customers, offering a superior shopping experience and generating value for all stakeholders."

As of February 27, 2021, Albertsons operated 2,277 retail stores with 1,727 pharmacies, 400 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. The company operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia with more than 20 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.