AMERICAN STORES POSTS NET EARNINGS INCREASES

SALT LAKE CITY -- American Stores Co. here posted net earnings gains of 12.5% for the second quarter and 15.4% for the half ended Aug. 3.net earnings climbed 15.4% to $147.4 million from $127.8 million. Operating profit was up 13.5% to $187.7 million from $165.3 million in the quarter and 14.9% to $344.5 million from $299.9 million in the half.Total sales, which include supermarket and drug stores,

SALT LAKE CITY -- American Stores Co. here posted net earnings gains of 12.5% for the second quarter and 15.4% for the half ended Aug. 3.

net earnings climbed 15.4% to $147.4 million from $127.8 million. Operating profit was up 13.5% to $187.7 million from $165.3 million in the quarter and 14.9% to $344.5 million from $299.9 million in the half.

Total sales, which include supermarket and drug stores, increased 2.9% to $4.6 billion from $4.5 billion in the quarter and 3.9% to $9.2 billion from $8.9 million in the half. Overall comparable-store sales rose 3% for the quarter and 3.5% for the half.

"Our second-quarter results reflect the continuing strength of our core operations. The higher quarterly earnings demonstrate the ability of our organization to generate consistently improving results while we continue to invest in our store base, infrastructure and Delta re-engineering project," according to Victor L. Lund, chairman and chief executive officer.

Capital expenditures were $256.2 million in the quarter and $437.5 million in the half. American said it added three supermarkets and closed six in the quarter; in the half, it added 10 stores and closed 21.

2ND-QUARTER RESULTS

Qtr Ended 8/3/96 7/29/95

Sales $4.6 billion $4.5 billion

Change + 2.9%

Same-store + 3%

Net Income $83.1 million $73.9 million

Change + 12.5%

Inc/Share 57 cents 50 cents

26 Weeks 1996 1995

Sales $9.2 billion $8.9 billion

Change + 3.9%

Same-store + 3.5%

Net Income $147.4 million $127.8 million

Change + 15.4%

Inc/Share $1.01 87 cents