MAUMEE, Ohio -- Seaway Food Town here reported increases in sales and earnings for the fourth quarter and 52 weeks ended Aug. 26.
for the quarter jumped 79.1% to $1.25 million from $697,000. Last year's fourth quarter included a one-time after-tax charge of $123,000 related to the early retirement of $6.3 million of debt.
For the year, sales were up 2.4% to $559.2 million from $546.2 million. Same-store sales were up 2%.
Earnings for 12 months more than doubled to $4.5 million from $2.1 million. Last year's 52-week results included a charge of $256,000 related to a change in accounting rules.
Seaway said operating profit was negatively affected by a last-in/first-out inventory evaluation charge of $581,000, compared with a LIFO credit of $18,000 last year.
However, the 44-store company did increase gross profit through improved merchandising strategies and the promotion of its Plus Card Program. The company has also introduced an electronic payment system, resulting in "significant" reductions in returned checks, Seaway said.
The company is planning to open a new flagship Plus store next spring in Toledo, Ohio, and a replacement store is currently under construction in Detroit Beach, Mich.