SMART & FINAL POSTS SALES INCREASE

VERNON, Calif. -- Smart & Final here reported increased sales and lower earnings for the year and fourth quarter ended Jan. 2.the quarter to $200.6 million.The fourth-quarter and full-year period in 1993 had one less week than the year-ago comparable periods. Same-store sales increased 4.7% for the year and 6% for the quarter.Roger M. Laverty III, president and chief executive officer, said earnings

VERNON, Calif. -- Smart & Final here reported increased sales and lower earnings for the year and fourth quarter ended Jan. 2.

the quarter to $200.6 million.

The fourth-quarter and full-year period in 1993 had one less week than the year-ago comparable periods. Same-store sales increased 4.7% for the year and 6% for the quarter.

Roger M. Laverty III, president and chief executive officer, said earnings were impacted by changes in accounting procedures. In addition, fourth-quarter earnings were negatively impacted by higher marketing expenditures for a multimedia campaign in the Los Angeles market, which Laverty said should benefit future sales.

Jonathan Ziegler, a securities analyst with Salomon Bros., New York, said the good news in the quarter was the strong same-store sales, which compared favorably with negative same-store results reported by Ralphs Grocery Co., Compton, Calif., Food 4 Less, La Habra, Calif., and Vons Cos., Arcadia, Calif.

The bad news, Ziegler said, was the impact on earnings of the $1 million ad campaign and the aborted effort by Groupe Casino, Smart & Final's French parent company, to sell its stock in the company.

Zielger said Groupe Casino's attempt to sell its shares cost Smart & Final approximately $500,000 for financial advice. Smart & Final opened 16 new stores during 1993, including three in the fourth quarter.

YEAR-END RESULTS

Qtr. Ended 1/2/94 1/3/93

Sales $200.6 million $191.7 million

Change +4.6%

Same-store +4.7%

Net Income $2.7 million $3.2 million

Change -13.7%

Inc/Share 13 cents 16 cents

Year 1993 1992

Sales $837.2 million $765.1 million

Change +9.4%

Same-store +6%

Net Income $2 million $14.4 million

Change -86.4%

Inc/Share 10 cents 71 cents