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    Albertsons Reports Sharp Decline in Fourth Quarter

    BOISE, Idaho - Albertsons Inc. today reported a sharp decline in quarterly profit as a result of losses from the recent Southern California labor dispute.

    BOISE, Idaho - Albertsons Inc. today reported a sharp decline in quarterly profit as a result of losses from the recent Southern California labor dispute.

    The retailer said profits for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29 were $130 million, or 35 cents per share, down from $205 million, or 54 cents per share, a year ago.

    Described as a "challenging year" by c.e.o. Larry Johnston, Albertsons said it estimates that the Southern California labor dispute cut quarterly earnings by about $90 million.

    The Boise-based chain said its sales dropped to $8.65 billion for the three months ended Jan. 29, down from the prior year's $9.107 billion.

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