COMPTON, Calif. -- Ralphs Grocery Co. here said sales and operating cash flow increased for the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2.
Sales for the 53-week year rose 2.6% to $5.5 billion, compared with pro forma estimates of $5.4 billion for last year's 52-week year, while same-store sales rose 1.8%.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 7.8% for the year to $354.6 million, or 6.4% of sales; comparable EBITDA results were not available for the year-ago period.
For the 17-week fourth quarter sales rose 9.3% to $1.8 billion, compared with $1.6 billion, while same-store sales for the company rose 3.5% and same-store sales in southern California, where the company does 90% of its volume, rose 3.5%.
EBITDA for the quarter was up 33.8% to $121.2 million, or 6.7% of sales, compared with $90.6 million, or 5.5% of sales, a year ago.
George Golleher, chief executive officer, said the ongoing improvement in same-store sales reflects consumers' favorable response to the chain's "First in Southern California" marketing program, which focuses on its pricing in conjunction with quality, selection and service.
He said fourth-quarter results were boosted by strong same-store sales and cost reductions resulting from the ongoing consolidation of the company's distribution operations into three facilities.