COLTON, Calif. — Stater Bros. Markets here is anticipating improved employee productivity once it begins moving people into its new offices in San Bernardino next month, Jack Brown, chairman and chief executive officer, told investors during a conference call yesterday to discuss financial results for the third quarter ended June 24. Reflecting on the reportedly positive attitudes of Stater employees as the Sept. 8 move-in date draws closer, Brown said, “If we can get 5% more productivity because our people are happy, that’s more than any margin increase you could ask for.” Stater said net income for the 13-week quarter more than tripled to $15.6 million — the result of better expense controls and improving margins, the company indicated — while sales increased 2.7% to $910.2 million and like-store sales rose 1.7%; for the year to date, net income more than doubled to $39 million, while sales rose 2.4% to $2.7 billion and like-store sales climbed 1.6%. The company said it has begun an offer to exchange up to $285 million of newly issued 7-3/4% senior notes due in 2015 for a like principal amount of its outstanding privately placed 7-3/4% senior notes due 2015. The exchange offer will expire Sept. 5.
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