ELLIOT ZWIEBACH MINNEAPOLIS -- The pending acquisition of Richfood Holdings will build "a great platform" for Supervalu growth in the mid-Atlantic region, Michael W. Wright, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Supervalu, told the company's annual meeting here last week.
As a result, although he implied there would be some reductions in the number of distribution facilities and corporate stores after the merger is completed, he did not discuss specific numbers.
Prior to the annual meeting Supervalu released financial results for the 16-week first quarter ended June 19, during which it said sales rose 1.7% to a record $5.3 billion, while net income jumped 28.8% to $66.7 million as a result of onetime items. Excluding those items -- a $75 million after-tax gain from the sale of Hazelwood Farms Bakeries in May and a $64 million after-tax restructuring charge for consolidation of distribution centers, non-core store disposals and rationalization of redundant and certain decentralized administrative functions -- net income increased 7.7% to a record $55.8 million, the company said.
The company said retail sales grew 12.6% in the quarter to $1.6 billion, driven by the addition of 87 new or acquired stores in the prior 12 months, while same-store sales for its 366 corporate stores fell 0.1% for the quarter, the company said.Sales in the company's food-distribution segment fell 0.2% to $4.6 billion, the company noted.
Besides Wright, four other Supervalu executives spoke to shareholders at the annual meeting. Their comments included the following:
Bill Bolton, executive vice president and president and chief operating officer, retail food companies, said the company's decision to consolidate retail operations internally will move Supervalu "from a portfolio approach to more standardized operations.
Dave Boehnen, executive vice president in charge of Save-A-Lot, said the company expects the limited-assortment format to fuel future growth among existing independent customers who want to operate a second banner or need to respond to competitive situations.
Jeff Noddle, executive vice president and president and chief operating officer of wholesale-food companies, said Supervalu has set a goal of reducing inventory by one day on hand, or approximately $40 million, for the year.
Pam Knous, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the company will increase capital spending 0.6% to $515 million this year, excluding acquisitions.