MINNEAPOLIS — Nash Finch saw its stock jump about 18% yesterday after the wholesaler and retailer posted first-quarter results that were better than expectations and projected ongoing growth.
Net income for the quarter, which ended on March 28, rose about 36%, to $14.4 million, on a 14% gain in sales, to $1.14 billion. Excluding the impact of the sales increase from the Jan. 31 acquisition of three military distribution centers, sales rose 2.4%.
The quarter also was negatively impacted by the shift of Easter to this year’s second quarter — adjusted for Easter, overall comparable sales were up 3.2%. Comparable-store sales in the retail division fell by 1.3%, but improved month by month, the company said.
The company opened a new Avanza store in Aurora, Colo., last week that is “hitting the ball completely over the fence,” said Alec Covington, president and chief executive officer, in a conference call yesterday discussing first-quarter results.
“We believe that our total company growth will remain strong in the second quarter,” he added, noting that the company will incur some expenses for new-store openings.
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