PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway last week said higher fuel prices fueled sales and earnings during the first quarter, although net income was hit by some one-time charges. “When fuel prices go up, we have the cheapest price compared with branded companies,” Steve Burd, chairman, president and chief executive officer, told analysts during a conference call. “And when you add in promotional programs that reduce the price per gallon, it all works to our advantage.” For the quarter, net income ...

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