PORTLAND, Ore. -- Fred Meyer Inc. here said last week the acquisition of Smith's Food & Drug Centers, Salt Lake City, Sept. 9 resulted in significant improvements in sales and operating income for the third quarter and 40 weeks ended Nov. 8.
7.8% and nonfood sales up 9.9% -- and 7.2% for the nine months -- with food up 6.2% and nonfood up 8.9%.
Operating income increased 223.1% to $59.9 million for the quarter, compared with $18.5 million a year ago -- or 32.4% excluding Smith's -- despite absorbing some of the integration costs associated with the merger. For the 40 weeks operating income was up 68.4% to $135.9 million.
The company said it had a net loss of $72.9 million for the quarter and $40.6 million for the nine months, compared with net income in both periods a year ago. Third-quarter results included an extraordinary charge of $91.2 million, net of taxes, for early extinguishment of debt, which covered premiums paid and the writeoff of financing costs related to debt refinanced in the Smith's acquisition.
Robert G. Miller, president and chief executive officer, said the Smith's stores are "performing extremely well, with very good comparable-store sales trends."