PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Strong performance of renovated lifestyle stores and increased perishables sales helped Safeway here post sales of $12.5 billion, an increase of 3.8%, in the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, the company said Thursday. Identical-store sales, excluding fuel, increased by 3.5%, the company added. Quarterly net earnings totaled $307.9 an increase of 77% from last year‘s fourth quarter, which had included charges for a labor buyout and for store closures in Texas. Gross ...

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