GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spartan Stores here yesterday said net income nearly doubled for its fiscal third quarter, which ended Jan. 5, as sales increased in both its retail and distribution businesses. Net income of $10.6 million for the 16-week period, which included a tax gain, compares with net income of $5.9 million a year ago. Excluding the gain, net income rose 33.3%, while revenues for the quarter were up 15.6%, to $826.1 million. Third-quarter retail sales were up 26.9%, to $415.4 million, which the company attributed to the acquisition of Felpausch Food Centers and to comparable-store sales gains of 3.4%, excluding fuel. Retail operating earnings, however, were down 28.6%, to $4 million, which the company attributed to $1.3 million in expenses for reopenings of remodeled stores and to lower pharmacy sales. In the distribution segments, operating earnings were up 48.9%, to $11.6 million, on a 6.1% increase in sales, to $410.7 million. Spartan said it plans to increase capital spending this year and next “to create certain market consolidation and other growth opportunities sooner than originally anticipated.” It projected cap-ex of $7 million to $52 million for the year.
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