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As part of its robust expansion plans, Smart & Final said on Wednesday that it opened 13 new Extra! stores in fiscal 2014, including 16 conversions and two relocations, which will be the "key to our new store growth," President/CEO Dave Hirz said of the format.
"2014 was an exciting year for Smart & Final. We … continued our accelerated store expansion program and successfully completed our initial public offering," said Hirz. "Performance across both the Smart & Final and Cash & Carry store banners was strong, driven by our ongoing merchandising and marketing efforts and consistent store level execution."
Looking ahead to the remainder of 2015, the company expects to open a total of 20 new Smart & Final Extra! stores – including four in the first quarter alone -- complete nine conversions, including three store relocations, and open three Cash & Carry stores, including one store relocation.
For its fourth quarter ended Dec. 28, Smart & Final posted $839.3 million in net sales, a 13 percent increase over $742.8 million in the year-ago period, buoyed by a 7.8 percent increase in comparable-store sales. The company pulled in $9.3 million in net income, or $0.12 per diluted share.
The Smart & Final banner posted $644.6 million in net sales, an increase of 13.5 percent from the year-ago, and a 7 percent increase in comps for the quarter. Net sales for the Cash & Carry banner came in at $194.7 million, an 11.5 percent from the same period last year, driven by a 10.5 percent increase in comps.
For the 2014 fiscal year, the grocer posted a 10.1 increase in net sales to $3.5 billion, and 6.4 percent in comparable-store sales growth. Net income came in at $33.1 million, or $0.52 per diluted share.
Net sales for the Smart & Final banner hit $2.7 billion, a 10 percent increase, with comps increasing 5 percent for the year. Further, Cash & Carry net sales increased 10.2 percent to $865.3 million; comps rose 10 percent.
"Looking ahead, in 2015 we plan to continue our accelerated pace of new store openings and believe that our strong performance in comparable store sales, competitive positioning, and real estate development pipeline provide the foundation for strong operating and financial performance," Hirz concluded.
Commerce, Calif.-based Smart & Final Stores Inc. operates 254 grocery and foodservice stores under the Smart & Final, Smart & Final Extra! and Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice banners in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada and Idaho, with an additional 14 stores in northern Mexico operated through a joint venture.