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Nash Finch’s stock surged Tuesday morning after the chain posted better-than-expected second-quarter sales and earnings, and reported a marginal rise in second-quarter profit, as total sales grew nearly 19 percent year-on-year.
The Minneapolis-based wholesale distributor’s net earnings for the quarter increased to $9.54 million, from $9.43 million in the previous year, while total quarterly sales rose 19 percent to $1.22 billion, from $1.02 billion in the earlier year. Excluding a sales increase of $166 million related to the acquisition of three military distribution centers and the shift of Easter to the second quarter in 2009, sales for the 12-week period ended June 20, 2009, increased by 1.9 percent over last year.
Nash Finch’s food distribution segment sales also gained 3.3 percent to $620 million, from $600 million in the prior year, due to new account gains and the shift of Easter to the second quarter in 2009, while its military segment sales grew 61 percent to $461 million, from $286 million in the previous year, as a result of the acquisition of three military distribution centers and the continued positive organic growth of the pre-existing business.
“I am pleased with our second quarter performance, especially in light of the current economic conditions,” said Alec Covington, Nash Finch’s president and CEO. “Our food distribution segment greatly narrowed the year-over-year unfavorable variance in EBITDA in the second quarter vs. the year-over-year variance experienced in the first quarter. Sales continued to be strong in the second quarter after excluding the Easter holiday shift in both our core food distribution and military segments. We continued to focus on managing expenses, which helped us achieve earnings per share and total company consolidated EBITDA that was equal to the second quarter of last year.”