BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Quality Food Centers here said last week that its growth continued in the fourth quarter of 1997, with record sales, operating income and net earnings reported for the 16 and 52 weeks ended Dec. 27.
ation. Sales for the year were $1.9 billion, a 133.2% increase over 1996, with same-store sales increasing 2.0%.
Executive said the sales increase reflects QFC's March 1997 acquisition of Hughes Family Markets, and gains in QFC's Pacific Northwest base.
QFC acquired two Food Giant units in the fourth quarter of 1996; 25 Keith Uddenberg Inc. stores in February 1997; and a store in Port Hadlock in June 1997. QFC opened a new Harvard Market store in April 1997, and completed 20 store remodels in 1997, said Marc Evanger, senior vice president and chief financial officer. Net earnings for the quarter were $13.7 million, a 58.6% increase over the fourth quarter last year. Net earnings for the year were $40.0 million, a 57.4% increase vs. 1996.
Operating income increased 96.2% to $31.8 million for the quarter, and increased 88.9% to $92.6 million for the year.