GIANT SAYS TRUCKER STRIKE, WEATHER CAUSED FISCAL DIP

WASHINGTON -- A five-week strike by its truck-driver union -- along with changes in weather patterns -- dealt a "double blow" to Giant Food's financial performance in the closing quarter of fiscal 1997, the company here said. on. Stores in operation both years saw a 6.9% decrease in sales. Earnings per share were 29 cents, compared with 75 cents for the year-ago quarter.For the 52 weeks ended Feb.

WASHINGTON -- A five-week strike by its truck-driver union -- along with changes in weather patterns -- dealt a "double blow" to Giant Food's financial performance in the closing quarter of fiscal 1997, the company here said.

on. Stores in operation both years saw a 6.9% decrease in sales. Earnings per share were 29 cents, compared with 75 cents for the year-ago quarter.

For the 52 weeks ended Feb. 22, sales increased 0.5%, from $3.86 billion to $3.88 billion. Net income dropped 16%, from $102.2 million to $85.5 million. For stores in operation both years, sales dipped 2.4%. Earnings per share were $1.43, compared with $1.72 a year ago.

The strike action, by Teamsters Local Union 639, turned around sales that had been trending upward in the first three quarters of fiscal 1997, the company said.

Changes in weather-related sales alone would have produced an adverse comparison between the two fiscal years, Giant said. Giant Food markets experienced an unusually mild winter in 1996-97, in comparison with the more severe winter of 1995-96.

4TH-QUARTER RESULTS

Qtr Ended 2/22/97 2/24/96

Sales $1.214 billion $1.264 billion

Change - 4%

Same-store - 6.9%

Net Income $17.68 million $44.86 million

Change - 60.5%

Inc/Share 29 cents 75 cents

52 Weeks 1997 1996

Sales $3.881 billion $3.861 billion

Change - 0.5%

Same-store - 2.4%

Net Income $85.50 million $102.15 million

Change - 16%

Inc/Share $1.43 $1.72