OKLAHOMA CITY -- Fleming Cos. here said sales improved in its retail-food segment and declined in its food-distribution segment while overall earnings rose for the first quarter ended April 18.
rque, N.M., and a related change in the effective tax rate. Without the adjustment, earnings were up 190%.
The company said sales for the quarter fell 3.9% to $4.6 billion, with sales in the food-distribution segment down 5.4% to $3.5 billion and sales in the retail-food segment up 1.6% to $1.08 billion. Same-store sales in the retail segment were down 4.5% for the quarter due to intense price competition and competitive store openings, the company noted.
Robert E. Stauth, chairman and chief executive officer, said the earnings improvement was the result of improved expense controls -- corporate expenses dropped 25% during the quarter, he pointed out -- and a facility consolidation reserve reversal.
However, those positive factors were offset, he said, by lower sales in the food-distribution segment; intense competition in the retail-food segment; expenses related to the Furr's settlement, under which Fleming must pay the retailer approximately $800,000 a month for up to 12 more months.