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    Smart & Final Delivers Double-digit Sales Gains in Q1

    Company posts 6.1% boost in comps

    Smart & Final Stores Inc. started strong in 2015, posting net sales of $822.2 million for the first quarter ended March 22, an 11.9 percent increase from the year-ago period.

    Growth for the Commerce, Calif.-based retailer was driven primarily by a 6.1 percent boost in comparable-store sales, as well as net sales from newly opened stores, the company said.

    The company's Smart & Final banner delivered $628.8 million in net sales, an 11.9 percent increase from last year, as well as comparable-store sales growth of 4.9 percent.

    The Cash & Carry banner performed similarly well, posting net sales gains of 11.7 percent ($193.3 million), as well as 10.2 percent growth in comparable-store sales over the same period last year.

    “Once again, sales performance across both of our banners was strong, resulting in a 6.1% total company comparable store sales increase," said President/CEO Dave Hirz, adding that the company's success in early 2015 was further underscored by the expansion of the Smart & Final Extra! banner.

    The company's net income was $4.9 million in Q1, compared to $2.5 million in the year-ago period, or $0.06 per diluted share, versus $0.04 last year.

    Smart & Final made particular note of its steady store growth for the year, including opening four Smart & Final Extra! stores in Q1, with five additional slated for Q2 and 16 new stores under that banner to open during the remainder of the year.

    In 2015, the retailer will also convert a number of legacy Smart & Final stores to the Extra! format, and open three additional Cash & Carry locations.

    "…our growth plans are on track, with new store development, a steady pace of Smart & Final legacy-to-Extra! store conversions, and merchandising and marketing activities all contributing positively to our financial performance," added Hirz, 

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