At the Food Marketing Institute's annual convention earlier this month, Michael Sansolo, FMI's senior vice president, presented the results of FMI's annual survey of the industry, and there were some decidedly mixed signals. On the one hand, same-store sales in inflation-adjusted terms fell 1.1% in 2001, worse than the decline of 0.5% in 2000. But on the other hand, average net profit after tax increased by 1.25% last year, growing for the third year in a row. The reason that profits have ...

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