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Safeway saw an increase in sales but a drop in profits for the fourth quarter of 2011, but expects future growth to continue.
Total sales increased 6.2 percent to $13.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011, up from $12.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase due primarily to higher fuel sales, the impact of reporting Blackhawk commissions on a gross basis and a 1.5 percent increase in identical-store sales (excluding fuel).
Safeway reported net income of $215.6 million (67 cents per share) for the fourth quarter of 2011, up from last year’s $229.6 million (62 cents per share).
"Our business continued to grow," said Steve Burd, chairman, president and CEO. "With ID sales growth remaining steady and costs well-controlled, we increased earnings per share 8 percent. As we move into 2012, our personalized marketing efforts and innovation in private label brands should contribute to our growth."
Net income for the fiscal year 2011 declined to $516.7 million ($1.49 per share) from $589.8 million ($1.55 per share), due primarily to the $98.9 million tax charge from the Canadian dividend paid in the first half of 2011.
Safeway invested $412.2 million in capital expenditures in the fourth quarter of 2011. The company opened 11 new Lifestyle stores, completed 10 Lifestyle remodels and closed 14 stores. For the year, Safeway invested $1.1 billion in capital expenditures, opened 25 new Lifestyle stores, completed 29 Lifestyle remodels, and closed 41 stores.
Plesanton, Calif.-based Safeway operates 1,678 stores in the United States and Canada.