GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spartan Stores here yesterday said strong comparable-store sales in its retail division helped drive gains in profits on continuing operations for the 16-week third quarter, which ended Jan. 3. Net income declined about 16% for the period, due primarily to a one-time tax benefit in the year-ago quarter, but operating earnings rose 17.4%, to $17.9 million. Sales for the third quarter were down about 0.75%, to $781.9 million. In the retail segment, operating earnings ...

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