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    Marsh Q1 Sales Gain 2.5, But Profits Dive

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Marsh Supermarkets, Inc. here said it would cut costs and take other actions to improve profits, after posting quarterly earnings that failed to meet its expectations.

    INDIANAPOLIS -- Marsh Supermarkets, Inc. here said it would cut costs and take other actions to improve profits, after posting quarterly earnings that failed to meet its expectations.

    For the 12 weeks ended June 25, 2005, net income fell to $674,000, or eight cents a share, from $1.62 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier. The regional retailer's sales and other revenues for the first quarter, meanwhile, were $409.8 million, an increase of $9.9 million, or 2.5 percent, over last year.

    Same-store sales at supermarkets and convenience stores topped last year by 1.6 percent, representing the fifth consecutive quarter of positive comparable-store sales, while same-store merchandise sales, which exclude gasoline sales, improved 0.6 percent from last year. During the quarter, Marsh opened one Arthur's Fresh Market and closed one Village Pantry.

    "First quarter results were not up to our expectations," said Don E. Marsh, chairman and c.e.o. "We have identified a number of cost-reduction and other profit improvement actions, which we expect to implement during the remainder of fiscal 2006.

    "We will open a new Lifestyle store in suburban Chicago during the second quarter," Marsh added. "We are excited about the opportunities this presents as we enter into a new, dynamic market. We believe our superior quality and service will continue to set us apart from other supermarkets as we enter the Chicago market."

    Marsh operates 69 Marsh namesake supermarkets, as well as 38 LoBill Foods stores, eight O'Malia Food Markets, 160 Village Pantry convenience stores, two Arthur's Fresh Market stores, and one Savin*$ in Indiana and western Ohio. The company also operates Crystal Food Services, which provides upscale catering, cafeteria management, office coffee, coffee roasting, vending and concessions, and restaurant management; Primo Banquet Catering and Conference Centers; Floral Fashions; McNamara Florist; and Enflora -- Flowers for Business.

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