MINNEAPOLIS — Nash Finch Co. here on Thursday said sales were down for the first quarter after the loss of a wholesale customer and declines in comparable-store sales, but EBITDA improved in all divisions.
The company said net income was down about 5.8%, to $7.48 million, for the 12-week quarter, which ended March 26. Sales were off 6.8%, to about $1.1 billion.
Net income in the quarter included one-time charges of $1.8 million, after tax, and about $300,000 in the first quarter of a year ago. Sales in the combined wholesale and retail segment fell by 12.1% in the first quarter, attributable to the loss of the Piggly Wiggly buying group, plus a 7.1% decrease in comparable-store sales overall. The retail segment same comparable-store sales declines of 3% for the quarter. EBITDA in the distribution and retail segment, however, increased by 6.9% over year-ago levels, to $14.7 million, including $10.6 million in distribution and $4.1 million in retail, increases of 3.2% and 17.9%, respectively.
"We are pleased with the year-over-year increase in our first quarter consolidated EBITDA and the improvements in consolidated EBITDA from each of our business segments, as well as the improvement in EBITDA as a percentage of sales," said Alec Covington, president and chief executive officer. "While the overall top line continues to be a challenge, we have focused on improving profitability through initiatives to increase margins, improve productivity and contain expenses."