LOS ANGELES — Unified Grocers here said net earnings hit record levels for the recently ended fiscal year, climbing 20.6% to $17.4 million.
Sales for the year, which ended Sept. 27, rose 31% to $4.1 billion, which includes $805.7 million from business gained in the Pacific Northwest following Unified's acquisition a year ago of Associated Grocers, Seattle, and $165.6 million from continued growth in the company's customer base, new customer business outside of AG and inflation.
The member-owned cooperative said the exchange value of members' shares at year's end was up 11.5% to $273.97, driven by strong results at the company's subsidiary businesses.
According to Al Plamann, president and chief executive officer, “Despite a deteriorating business climate, Unified performed exceptionally well. While we expect 2009 to be difficult and challenging, we believe our company is well positioned to endure a weaker economy. In times like these, our independent retailers shine because of their ability to quickly adapt to fast-changing market conditions.”