OKLAHOMA CITY -- Due to a one-time litigation charge and other expenses, net earnings at Fleming Cos. here fell for the third quarter and 40 weeks ended Oct. 5.
a $20 million one-time charge related to the settlement in the Premium Sales diversion case -- offset in part by a change in the disposition value for divested stores and other items -- net earnings would have been $7.1 million (19 cents a share) for the quarter, according to Fleming.
For the 40 weeks, net income slipped 57% to $16.4 million (43 cents a share) from $38 million ($1.01 a share). Excluding one-time charges, year-to-date earnings would have been $28.1 million (74 cents a share).
Overall sales in the quarter fell 5% to $3.7 billion from $3.9 billion a year ago, reflecting an 11% gain by Fleming's retail operations and an 8% drop in its food distribution arm. For the year to date, total sales were down 6% to $12.6 billion from $13.35 billion, with a 14% jump in retail volume and a 10% decrease in distribution sales.
"To further improve performance, we are vigorously pursuing sales and margin improvement initiatives moving into the fourth quarter," noted Robert Stauth, chairman and chief executive officer.