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 ...

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