SALISBURY, N.C. -- Food Lion here said that increased competition and a mild winter throughout the Southeast held same-store sales flat for the first quarter, which ended March 22.
$40.8 million for the same quarter in 1996. Earnings per share were 10 cents, compared with 9 cents a year ago.
Food Lion's first-quarter sales and earnings include operating results from its Kash n' Karry subsidiary, which it acquired last December. The company said Kash n' Karry's results hurt Food Lion's earnings by 1 cent per share.
Tom Smith, Food Lion president and chief executive officer, said sales were softer than expected for the quarter, and said the company is working to increase revenues in the second quarter through enhanced advertising and targeted marketing programs.
During the quarter, Food Lion opened nine new stores and closed 15 underperforming Food Lion units and one Kash n' Karry store. Food Lion ended the quarter with 1,202 supermarkets.