AMERICAN INCREASES SALES FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS

SALT LAKE CITY -- American Stores Co. here said its ongoing capital expenditures program resulted in increased sales on continuing operations for the third quarter and 39 weeks ended Oct. 28. However, overall sales fell 1.6% for the quarter and 3.6% for the 39 weeks, reflecting the sale of Star Market Co., Cambridge, Mass., in September 1994 and 45 Acme Markets in Pennsylvania last January. Sales

SALT LAKE CITY -- American Stores Co. here said its ongoing capital expenditures program resulted in increased sales on continuing operations for the third quarter and 39 weeks ended Oct. 28. However, overall sales fell 1.6% for the quarter and 3.6% for the 39 weeks, reflecting the sale of Star Market Co., Cambridge, Mass., in September 1994 and 45 Acme Markets in Pennsylvania last January. Sales from continuing operations, which include stores opened during the year, increased 2.4% for the 13-week quarter to $4.4 billion and 2.1% for the 39 weeks to $13.2 billion, while same-store sales rose 0.74% in the quarter and 0.87% for the year to date. Net earnings dropped 31.1% for the quarter to $67.4 million and 9.2% for the 39 weeks to $195.3 million because last year the company benefited by 50 cents per share from the sale of Star.. However, operating profit from continuing operations increased 30% for the quarter to $154.6 million, or 3.6% of sales, and 7.6% for the 39 weeks to $454.5 million, or 3.4% of sales. The company said the operating profit comparison for the quarter was affected by lower health and welfare costs in 1995 associated with the renegotiation of a labor contract in southern California and one-time centralization costs that reduced last year's third-quarter operating profit.