LOS ANGELES -- Smart & Final here was seeing significant improvements in its food-service operations in Florida and Northern California until Sept. 11, "but the problems resulting from that event probably set us back a year," Ross Roeder, chairman and chief executive officer, told shareholders at the company's annual meeting here last week. He said financial performance at both units "improved dramatically" last year, "although food service is still a very difficult market, and we would ...

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