LOS ANGELES – Unified Grocers here said yesterday the acquisition of Associated Grocers, Seattle, resulted in a sharp increase in sales and operating income for the first quarter, which ended Dec. 29. Sales rose 34.7% to $1.05 billion, with 82% of the increase coming from AG, the company said. Unified said it experienced 6.4% growth in its existing business before considering the impact of the AG transaction. The company also said sales growth and improved operating performance were the primary contributors to a 78.2% increase in net earnings (to $6.2 million) and a 28% increase in operating income (to $22.5 million). "In spite of a weakening economy, sales to our existing base of customers continue to be very strong," Alfred A. Plamann, president and chief executive officer, said. "On top of this, sales to our newest customers [at the former AG] were also very strong, [which] means we have done a very good job integrating our new Seattle operations into the whole of our business in a short period of time."
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