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    Smart & Final Delivers an 'Exceptional Year,' Says CEO Hirz

    Sales, comps climb in Q4, year

    Smart & Final's financial performance for the 53 weeks ended Jan. 3 delivered another "exceptional year," says David Hirz, president and CEO of the Commerce, Calif.-based retailer.

    The 13-week fourth quarter brought in $997.6 million in net sales, an 18.9 percent increase over the $839.3 million in the year-ago period, driven by a 3.5 percent gain in comparable-store sales. The company posted $10 million in net income, up from $9.3 million last year.

    "Our focus on execution positioned us to deliver strong top-line sales growth and record bottom-line financial performance," added Hirz.

    For the year, Smart & Final posted $38.3 million in net income, a 15.5 percent increase over last year's $33.1 million. Net sales were up 12.4 percent from last year to $4 billion, with a 4.5 percent increase in comps.

    "We completed our 2015 store development plan, which included expanding our Smart & Final Extra! store base by nearly 30%," added Hirz, which includes 20 new stores under the banner, and the completion of nine conversions of legacy Smart & Final stores to the Smart & Final Extra! format. The company also opened two new Cash & Carry stores.

    "We have a strong team in place and the resources to execute our multi-year growth plan," Hirz concluded. "As a result, we're anticipating that 2016 will mark our 27th year of positive comparable store sales in the last 28 years."

    Smart & Final Stores Inc. operates 276 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 15 stores in northern Mexico operated through a joint venture.

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