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LOS ANGELES - Regional wholesale cooperative Unified Western Grocers, Inc. saw a 6.1 percent increase in sales for the second quarter ended March 31, an increase driven by new stores opened by retailer members and continued sales growth in gourmet and ethnic foods, and natural/organic products through the company's Market Centre subsidiary.
Sales were $753.6 million, compared to last year's $710 million.
Net earnings declined from $9.8 million to $7 million due to non-recurring insurance reserve adjustments in 2006.
"Our earnings to date are strong and ahead of plan and our sales continue to increase in virtually all of our divisions and subsidiaries," said Alfred A. Plamann, president and c.e.o. "As we look ahead, we anticipate that many of the trends we are now seeing in the marketplace will continue."
Plamann said technology and operational efficiency would continue to drive growth in the company's food distribution operations. "Retailers will continue to adjust their mix of product offerings to include more perishable and specialty products, and consumers will continue to exhibit strong demand for products that are environmentally friendly or that promote health and wellness," he said.
Unified is a retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor that supplies independent retailers throughout the Western United States.