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Supervalu falls short in Q1

BY Marianne Wilson

Supervalu Inc. on Wednesday lower-than-expected profit for the first quarter amid ongoing efforts to spin off its Save-A-Lot division.

The supermarket operator reported a profit a profit of $46 million for the quarter, down from $61 million, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for charges related to the potential separation of Save-A-Lot and other factors, earnings declined to $53 million from $65 million last year.

Supervalu’s net revenue fell 3.9% to $5.20 billion.

“It takes time to bring on new business, and our first-quarter results reflect the sales run rate we experienced coming out of last year’s fourth quarter,” said president and CEO Mark Gross, who took the reins of the company in January. “We’ve been replacing lost business, and I am confident in our ability to attract new customers and grow our business.”

Supervalu’s discount banner, Save-A-Lot reported a 1.7% rise in net sales to $1.42 billion. In June, Supervalu announced its intent to spin off Save-A-Lot as a separate company within the next two years.

“We’re making great progress in growing our business as evidenced by our recent business announcements regarding our agreement with Marsh Supermarkets and our agreement to acquire 22 Food Lion grocery stores,” added Gross. “We’re also seeing great success in growing our wholesale produce business, and I believe we’ll sell more produce to our wholesale customers this fiscal year than our wholesale business has sold before.”

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