CARR GOTTSTEIN POSTS PROFIT DURING QUARTER; SALES OFF

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Carr Gottstein Foods here said the improvement in its fourth-quarter earnings picture was due to improved gross margins coupled with lower operating expenses and interest payments. 6 million, or 71 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $2.8 million, or 36 cents per share, in 1996.Carr Gottstein said sales for the fourth quarter decreased 4.4%, from $150.3 million in 1996

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Carr Gottstein Foods here said the improvement in its fourth-quarter earnings picture was due to improved gross margins coupled with lower operating expenses and interest payments.

6 million, or 71 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $2.8 million, or 36 cents per share, in 1996.

Carr Gottstein said sales for the fourth quarter decreased 4.4%, from $150.3 million in 1996 to $143.8 million in 1997. Sales for the full fiscal year decreased 3.8%, from $612.6 million in 1996 to $589.3 million in 1997.

The company closed its YES Foods institutional food-service business and discontinued its wholesaling service to a Russian export business last year, officials said. Excluding the effects of those actions, Carr said, sales decreased $400,000 for the quarter and $10.8 million for the fiscal year.

Same-store sales declined 0.3% in the quarter and 1.4% for the year, the company said. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization increased for the fifth straight quarter, to $11.7 million, or 8.1% of sales, compared with $11.1 million, or 7.4% of sales, in the year-ago quarter.

4TH-QUARTER RESULTS

Qtr Ended 12/28/97 12/29/96

Sales $143.8 million $150.3 million

Change - 4.4%

Same-store - 0.3%

Net Income $202,000 ($698,000)

Inc/Share 2 cents (9 cents)

52 Weeks 1997 1996

Sales $589.3 million $612.6 million

Change - 3.8%

Same-store - 1.4%

Net Income ($5.6 million) ($2.8 million)

Inc/Share (71 cents) (36 cents)