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MINNEAPOLIS -- Looking to seize the "unique opportunity" posed by the swift unraveling of its former principal competitor, Fleming, Supervalu pointed a critical finger at emerging rival C&S in Brattleboro, Vt.-based Wholesale Grocers, which is in the process of buying Fleming's grocery distribution business.
During a conference call with industry analysts to discuss results for the first quarter ended June 14, Jeff Noddle, Supervalu's chairman and c.e.o., said, "C&S primarily provides services to large chains, primarily operates in non-union environments, and does not provide a full suite of support services."
In other Supervalu news, the distributor and retailer yesterday posted lower quarterly profits including litigation settlement costs, and affirmed its earnings target for the full year.
Supervalu's sales grew 3.4 percent to $5.84 billion while its comparable-store sales were up 1.1 percent. However, net income declined 4.5 percent to $73.7 million, with the earnings drop due to approximately $5 million in litigation costs during the quarter.
Supervalu affirmed that it expects to earn $2 to $2.15 during the fiscal year ending Feb. 28, 2004. General corporate expenses more than doubled to $18.8 million, including about $5 million in litigation settlements.