JITNEY-JUNGLE CITES CARDS AS DELCHAMPS HIKES SALES

JACKSON, Miss. -- Jitney-Jungle Stores of America here said the introduction of shopper-loyalty cards is resulting in "a significant sales improvement" in most of the Delchamps stores it acquired last year. d a net loss for the 12-week quarter because of costs associated with the acquisition; however, earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and the LIFO provision rose 34.9%

JACKSON, Miss. -- Jitney-Jungle Stores of America here said the introduction of shopper-loyalty cards is resulting in "a significant sales improvement" in most of the Delchamps stores it acquired last year.

d a net loss for the 12-week quarter because of costs associated with the acquisition; however, earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and the LIFO provision rose 34.9% to $25.2 million, or 5.2% of sales, compared with $18.7 million, or 6.1% of sales, a year ago.

For the 24-week first half, sales rose 63.3% to $958.6 million, while same-store sales fell 3.5%. EBITDA rose 26.9% to $45.4 million, or 4.7% of sales, compared with $35.7 million, or 6.1% of sales, a year ago.

According to Michael E. Julian, chief executive officer, "We are seeing a significant sales improvement in most of the Delchamps stores due to the recent introduction of the Delchamps Gold Card. However, our warehousing expenses continue to run high due to the Delchamps transaction."

He also said the company is "very pleased with our same-store sales trends, which were fueled in part by several remodels and conversions during the period, and we are continuing to focus our attention on achieving the synergies anticipated with the merger." During the quarter, Jitney-Jungle said, it converted or remodeled four Delchamps stores in Mobile, Ala.; converted two other conventional stores to a combination-store format; opened one gasoline station; and closed two stores.

Early in the third quarter it opened its newest prototype combination store in Hattiesburg, Miss., the company said.

2nd-QUARTER RESULTS

Qtr Ended 6/20/98 6/28/97

Sales $484.4 million $305.3 million

Change + 58.7%

Same-store - 0.6%

Net Income ($3.4 million) $1.1 million

24 Weeks 1998 1997

Sales $958.6 million $586.9 million

Change + 63.3%

Same-store - 3.5%

Net Income ($8.9 million) $1.8 million

The second quarter of the prior year had 13 weeks and the half had 26 weeks, compared with 12 weeks and 24 weeks, respectively, during the same periods of the current year.