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COLTON, Calif. - Improved gross margins and decreased operating income drove a three-fold increase in profits for regional independent Stater Bros., which also saw its sales jump more than 4 percent over last year's Q1 figures.
Sales for the 13-week quarter ended December 24, increased 4.3 percent to $904.1 million, compared to $867 million for the 13 weeks ended December 25, 2005.
The timing of the Christmas Day added one more sales day in the latest quarter. After taking into consideration the effect of Christmas Day, same store sales increased 1.4 percent for the latest 13 weeks.
Net income for the quarter hit $9.9 million compared to $3.3 million in 2005.
"The first quarter results benefited from improved gross margins and decreased operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, in the first quarter of fiscal 2007 compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2006," said Jack H. Brown, chairman, president, and c.e.o. of Stater Bros. Holdings Inc. "We remain committed to being the low price leader while providing a friendly and satisfying shopping experience to our customers."
Stater Bros. operates 162 Supermarkets, and employs more than 18,000 associates. Its 2006 sales were $3.5 billion.