SMART & FINAL VOLUME UP, PROFIT DOWN DURING QUARTER

VERNON, Calif. -- Smart & Final here said the addition of acquired stores in the Pacific Northwest helped boost sales while poor results in its retail and food-service divisions in Florida kept earnings down for the third quarter and 40 weeks ended Oct. 11.23.5% to $546.4 million for the 16-week quarter and 16.3% to $1.3 billion for the year to date -- boosted by volume from 39 Cash & Carry stores

VERNON, Calif. -- Smart & Final here said the addition of acquired stores in the Pacific Northwest helped boost sales while poor results in its retail and food-service divisions in Florida kept earnings down for the third quarter and 40 weeks ended Oct. 11.

23.5% to $546.4 million for the 16-week quarter and 16.3% to $1.3 billion for the year to date -- boosted by volume from 39 Cash & Carry stores in the Pacific Northwest that were acquired in May from United Grocers, Portland, Ore.

Cash & Carry sales totaled $84.3 million for the quarter and $111 million since the stores were acquired.

Sales at the company's 213 grocery stores rose 27.5% to $410.8 million for the quarter and 14.1% to $907.2 million for the 40 weeks, while same-store sales -- excluding the Cash & Carry units -- rose 0.7% for the quarter and fell 0.9% for the 40 weeks. The company said the drop was due primarily to the decision a year ago to discontinue heavy discounts on tobacco products, which hurt sales but boosted gross margins.

Sales in the company's food-service distribution operation rose 12.7% to $135.6 million for the quarter and 22.5% to $354 million for the year to date.

According to Robert J. Emmons, chairman and chief executive officer, "Florida stores and food-service distribution operating results have been disappointing for the last year, but we are seeing signs of progress.

He said the company also expects to complete a restructuring of its bank credit facilities.

3RD-QUARTER RESULTS

Qtr Ended 10/11/98 10/5/97

Sales $546.4 million $442.5 million

Change + 23.5%

Comp-store + 0.7%*

Net Income $5.6 million $6.8 million

Change - 17.6%

Inc/Share 25 cents 30 cents

40 Weeks 1998 1997

Sales $1.3 billion $1.1 billion

Change + 16.3%

Comp-store - 0.9%*

Net Income $4.9 million $18.7 million

Change - 73.5%

Inc/Share 22 cents 82 cents

* Comparative sales include only the company's retail stores.