LOS ANGELES — Arden Group here, parent of the 18-unit Gelson's Markets chain, on Thursday said increases in health and welfare payments in the fourth quarter eroded profitability, as the company posted a 14% decline in net income, to about $5.6 million.
Sales for the 13-week fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 1, were down 0.6%, to about $110 million, and same-store sales fell by the same percentage, compared with year-ago results.
Arden said it incurred additional health and welfare charges of $74,000 per week beginning last March, and those costs increase by another $11,000 per week last month.
For the full year, Arden said net income fell 16.4%, to $18.1 million, on a 3.2% decline in sales, to $417.1 million. Same-store sales fell by 3.1% for the year.