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    Marsh Supermarkets Sees Decline in First-quarter Profits

    INDIANAPOLIS - Regional chain Marsh Supermarkets Inc. on Tuesday said its fiscal first quarter profits fell, due in part to a 2.9 percent decline in sales at its grocery stores open at least a year.

    INDIANAPOLIS - Regional chain Marsh Supermarkets Inc. on Tuesday said its fiscal first quarter profits fell, due in part to a 2.9 percent decline in sales at its grocery stores open at least a year.

    Net income in the first quarter ended June 22 fell to $2.98 million, or 33 cents a diluted share, down from $3.91 million, or 44 cents a diluted share in the year-earlier quarter. Income from continuing operations was $3.16 million, or 35 cents a share, down from $3.65 million, or 41 cents a share a year ago.

    Sales and other revenues rose 2.6 percent to $385.17 million compared with $375.25 million. Sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, were pressured by weakness in the economy and a shift in the Easter holiday, the company said. The sales decline was the first in 21 quarters.

    On a continuing operations basis, first-quarter EBITDA was $16,555,000 compared to $15,711,000 last year -- a 5.4 percent increase. First-quarter operating income was $10,431,000 -- down slightly from last year's $10,573,000. The quarter results include $1,671,000 gains on the sales of real estate.

    "We are pleased with the improved EBITDA during the quarter despite the significant increase in new supermarkets added to our marketplace," said Don E. Marsh, chairman and CEO.

    Marsh operates 67 Marsh supermarkets, 35 LoBill Foods stores, 2 Savin*$, six O'Malia Food Markets, and 172 Village Pantry convenience stores in central Indiana and western Ohio. The company also operates Crystal Food Services, which provides upscale catering, cafeteria management, office coffee, vending and concessions; Primo Banquet Catering and Conference Centers, McNamara Florist and Enflora -- Flowers for Business.

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