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BOISE, Idaho - Albertson's Inc. on Monday reported higher third-quarter profit as it battled weaker sales and fierce competition.
The Boise, Idaho-based retailer said net income in the quarter ended Oct. 31 was $192 million or 48 cents a share, up from $176 million, or 43 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.
Albertson's, which operates more than 2,300 stores under the names Albertson's, Jewel-Osco, Max Foods and Sav-on Drugs, said quarterly sales decreased to $8.66 billion from $9.04 billion, while identical-store sales fell 2 percent.
"Our results for the quarter represent a respectable performance in a period that was challenged by the combined effects of our country's continued economic weakness and heightened levels of competition in our industry," said chairman and CEO Larry Johnston.
In the future, the company will try to boost sales by investing more heavily in targeted promotions and innovative marketing programs and more aggressively pursue its goal of $750 million in cost cuts, Johnson added.
Looking ahead, Albertson's reaffirmed its earnings forecast for the fiscal year 2002 on a continuing operations basis of $2.10 to $2.14 per share.