MINNEAPOLIS -- Nash Finch Co. here said improved retail operations, including the addition of 12 Hinky Dinky stores, drove earnings up 92% in its 12-week fiscal third quarter ended March 25.
argely due to the impact of closing five distribution centers during 1999 as part of a restructuring plan.
Marshall said the first-quarter acquisition of Hinky Dinky Supermarkets, Omaha, Neb., was immediately accretive to earnings. Nash Finch purchased the 12 Nebraska stores in January for an undisclosed price.
Overall, Nash Finch added 14 stores during the quarter to increase its total to 128. Retail square footage grew by 9% during the quarter. Nash Finch's retail division revenue increased 38% to $225 million during the quarter, and its profits were up 318%, from $1.1 million to $4.6 million.
"We're especially excited about the progress of our retail operations, which is driving our growth," said Marshall.
During the second quarter, Nash Finch said it would convert the Hinky Dinky stores to SunMarts and also convert its Erickson's store to Econofoods and add the SunMart banner to its Southeast IGA stores. Those changes will strengthen brand recognition and provide marketing savings, Marshall said.
While revenue from Nash Finch's distribution segment fell from $543.4 million to $444.6 million during the first quarter, the division's profits were "virtually even," at $9.6 million vs. $10.2 million. Marshall said the results revealed more efficient and productive centers since the closing of five distribution centers in 1999.