RICHMOND, Va. -- Richfood Holdings here reported net earnings of $17.6 million for the 12-week third quarter ended Jan. 10, an increase of 17.3% over the year-ago period.
n in the quarter. The decrease was attributed to the previously announced expiration of a frozen-food supply agreement with about 190 Acme Markets in June 1997.
Wholesale sales were also affected by competitive store openings, which affected some Richfood retailer customers, the company said.
Year-to-date, the company said net earnings were $47.1 million, or 99 cents per share, an increase of 17.7% over net earnings of $40 million, or 84 cents per share, in the first three quarters of the prior fiscal year.
Sales were down 4.3% year-to-date, from $2.3 billion to $2.2 billion. That decrease was also attributed to the lost frozen-food volume, but was offset, in part, by sales from the Norristown produce business, which Richfood acquired in September 1996.
Stokely said, "A relatively slow sales environment, particularly in the Southeast, was a challenge this quarter, but our associates did a first rate job of servicing our customers during the important holiday season, while improving productivity in key operating areas."
Richfood's previously announced acquisition of the Norfolk, Va.-based Farm Fresh chain is expected to close later this month.
"We continue to find ways to take costs out of our operations," Stokely said. "As a result, our expense structure is in excellent shape."