EARNINGS LOWER THAN EXPECTED AT HANNAFORD

SCARBOROUGH, Maine -- Hannaford Bros. here said last week merger costs and losses from its Internet division caused fourth-quarter earnings to come in slightly lower than expected. week fourth quarter increased 4.4% to $887.6 million. Comparable-store sales gained 2% for the quarter and 1.7% for the year.Net earnings were up 3.6% to $98 million for the year, while fourth-quarter earnings, including

SCARBOROUGH, Maine -- Hannaford Bros. here said last week merger costs and losses from its Internet division caused fourth-quarter earnings to come in slightly lower than expected.

week fourth quarter increased 4.4% to $887.6 million. Comparable-store sales gained 2% for the quarter and 1.7% for the year.

Net earnings were up 3.6% to $98 million for the year, while fourth-quarter earnings, including merger costs of $2.3 million pre-tax and $2 million post-tax, rose 1.1% to $28

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