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Fleming on Monday announced that the company is affirming
its previously announced guidance for 2001 adjusted earnings of $1.96 per share, as well as its 2002 and 2003 guidance of $2.50 per share and $3.30 per share, respectively. This represents the continuation of a five-year 30% compounded growth rate for adjusted earnings (fiscal years 1999-2003).
"Our $1.96 guidance for 2001 is especially noteworthy because of the concurrent 22% increase in fully diluted shares during our second quarter this year," said Fleming Chairman and CEO Mark Hansen. During the latest quarter, Fleming's fully diluted shares grew from 42 million to 51 million shares, and adjusted earnings were 60% over the second quarter of 2000. Hansen continued, "The solid,
ongoing improvement in our retail business and a 16% year-over-year improvement in distribution sales drove blockbuster results for the latest quarter. As we look ahead, the company expects to benefit from improvements derived from our central procurement initiatives, sales
growth, expense management and productivity enhancements."
In addition, Fleming also recently announced the expected settlement of several complex and old lawsuits relating to certain retail supply agreements in Kansas City and Salt Lake City. The settlements cover a multitude of lawsuits with issues dating back as far as 30 years. "Although these suits have nothing to do with current Fleming operations, we are very pleased to put a final conclusion to these
pending issues and bring them to a close," said Hansen. Also, as a result of these settlements, Fleming will obtain 100% ownership of key Arizona Food4Less stores. "In total, this is a very positive development for our company as we are closing a chapter on the past and clearing the way for more aggressive Food4Less expansion in the Southwest," said Hansen.