VERNON, Calif. -- Smart & Final here said operating earnings improved significantly in the second quarter, but higher interest costs largely offset the improvement. Ross Roeder, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Results for the quarter reflect continuing improvement in our operations, but are certainly not at an acceptable level."
scal 1999, sales rose 14% to $816.9 million, same-store sales increased 4.2% and net income bounded to $848,000 compared with a loss of $698,000 in the first half of fiscal 1998..
Meanwhile, however, net interest expense rose 106% to $5.0 million in the second quarter and increased 121% to $10.1 million in the first half. The company said successful completion of an equity offering late in the second quarter is expected to reduce future interest expense significantly.