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Fleming Companies Inc. today reported a 59.7 percent increase in second quarter 2001 net earnings to $22.4 million, or $0.46 per share, after adjustments to exclude strategic plan charges and one-time items, compared to
$14.0 million, or $0.35 per share, in the second quarter of 2000. Second quarter adjusted operating earnings of $66.1 million increased 20.5 percent from $54.9 million in the prior year.
"Fleming's strategy of high volume, low-cost operations supported with the scale and efficiencies generated by central procurement and Fleming's low-cost pursuit programs - a strategy that is unique among our peers - is producing outstanding and sustainable growth," said Mark S. Hansen, chairman of the board and CEO of Fleming. "What makes this quarter particularly impressive is that we achieved a 31 percent increase in quarterly
earnings per share even as our diluted share count increased by more than 25 percent over last year. On a comparable share count basis, our earnings per share would have jumped 60 percent from $0.35 per share last year to $0.56 per share in 2001's second quarter."
Total company net sales for the 12-week second quarter were $3.45 billion, compared to $3.29 billion in the prior year. Distribution segment net sales increased 16.4% to $2.94 billion, up from $2.53 billion in the prior year. "We are very pleased with the breadth of our distribution sales growth. Approximately one-half of the distribution sales growth was attributable to continued growth of the conventional and alternative retail formats we serve, including independent supermarket operators, self-distributing grocery chains,
convenience stores, supercenters, and ethnic retailers. The balance was attributable to incremental Kmart business resulting from our alliance announced earlier this year. Our national footprint of distribution centers has created a compelling offering for customers large and small from coast to coast."
Fleming completed the planned strategic divestiture of the last of its conventional retail stores during the quarter, positioning the company entirely in price-impact food stores (Food4Less and Rainbow Foods) and limited assortment opening-price-point stores (Yes!Less). In total, 237 conventional retail stores have been sold or closed since the first quarter of 1999. Comparable store sales for continuing operations were up 1.3 percent for the quarter.