RALPHS EARNINGS SOAR IN 1ST QUARTER

COMPTON, Calif. -- Ralphs Grocery Co. here said earnings more than doubled in the first quarter ended April 24 to $8.4 million.Ralphs attributed the earnings jump to an 8.4% increase in operating income, a 2.9% drop in interest expense as a result of the company's recapitalization plan and lower income tax expense following an adjustment in the valuation allowance for deferred tax assets.Sales declined

COMPTON, Calif. -- Ralphs Grocery Co. here said earnings more than doubled in the first quarter ended April 24 to $8.4 million.

Ralphs attributed the earnings jump to an 8.4% increase in operating income, a 2.9% drop in interest expense as a result of the company's recapitalization plan and lower income tax expense following an adjustment in the valuation allowance for deferred tax assets.

Sales declined 2.6% to $616 million in the 12-week quarter and same-store sales fell 3.

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