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    Supervalu Holds Steady in Q1

    Save-A-Lot remains a key growth driver

    Supervalu Inc. posted Q1 net sales for fiscal 2015 of $5.23 billion, relatively flat with $5.24 billion from the year-ago period. The Midwest grocer's net earnings came in at $48 million for Q1.

    "Fiscal 2015 is off to a solid start across our business segments,” said president/CEO Sam Duncan. “Our first quarter results reflect the investments we are making this year to position the company for future success and I am pleased with our operating performance.”

    Save-A-Lot

    Supervalu's Save-A-Lot business reported $1.35 billion in Q1 net sales, compared with $1.27 billion last year, a 6.5 percent increase, which the grocer attributed to the 5.6 percent increase in Save-A-Lot identical store sales. Identical corporate store sales within the Save-A-Lot network were up 7.2 percent.

    Save-A-Lot's Q1 operating earnings came in at $46 million, or 3.4 percent of net sales, compared with $52 million, or 4.1 percent of net sales, last year.  Supervalu attributed the decrease to incremental investments to lower prices to customers offset in part by the benefits of cost reduction initiatives and higher sales volumes.

    Independent Business

    The company's Independent Business posted net sales of $2.4 billion for the quarter, down 2.6 percent from $2.46 billion last year, due to lost accounts including lower sales to one New Albertson’s, Inc. banner that completed the transition to self-distribution and lower military sales, partially offset by net new business. Independent Business operating earnings in Q1 were $66 million, or 2.8 percent of net sales, compared with $55 million, or 2.3 percent of net sales, last year.

    Retail Food

    Supervalu's Retail Food segment reported Q1 net sales of $1.43 billion – on par with last year – and an identical stores sales increase of 0.6 percent. Retail Food operating earnings in Q1 were $30 million, or 2.1 percent of net sales, compared with last year's $7 million, or 0.4 percent of net sales.

    Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu operates a network of 3,320 stores composed of 1,805 independent stores serviced primarily by the company’s food distribution business; 1,325 Save-A-Lot stores, of which 931 are operated by licensee owners; and 190 traditional retail grocery stores. 

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