PEWAUKEE, Wis. -- Retailer/wholesaler Roundy's here said it is looking for fill-in acquisitions in its core markets.
"We expect to take advantage of in-market opportunities," said Robert A. Mariano, chairman, president and chief executive officer, in a conference call discussing its third-quarter earnings report. The company, which was acquired by Chicago-based investment firm Willis Stein earlier this year, continues to report its earnings results like a public company because it has some publicly owned bonds.
Late last month, Roundy's completed the previously announced acquisition of four Gold's Pick 'n Save stores in northeastern Milwaukee for $26 million. Mariano described the stores as being "high volume."
The company said it had same-store sales and margin gains in the third quarter despite meat price deflation of about 3% and deflation in the price of dairy products of about 4%. Retail gross margins improved to 23.4% of sales vs. 22.7% a year ago, the company said, because stores had a higher mix of high-margin perishable sales.
Roundy's, which operates stores under the Pick 'n Save and Copps Food Centers banners and is a wholesale supplier to 800 stores in 12 states, said its Wisconsin retail operations had a particularly strong quarter, leading to a 1.3% gain in same-store sales. However, the company sold two stores late last year and closed another in July, which led to a 0.9% decline in retail sales for the quarter, to $392.1 million, compared with the year-ago results.
Wholesale sales fell 0.4%, compared with last year's third quarter. The company said wholesale sales improved in Wisconsin but were negative elsewhere.
Total sales for the 13 weeks ended Sept. 28 were $904.7 million, down 0.3% compared with year-ago results. Third-quarter net income was $8.95 million, an increase of 1.7% over year-ago results. Through three quarters, net income rose 55%, to $32.1 million, on a 9.6% increase in sales, to $2.7 billion.