STATER BROS. GAINS SALES, BUT EXPENSES CUT INCOME

COLTON, Calif. -- Stater Bros. Holdings here reported strong sales gains in its third fiscal quarter ended June 27, although the company posted a loss for the quarter because of one-time expenses.ncluded the five-month strike-lockout that affected Stater Bros.' larger competitors in the region.The company reported a net loss for the quarter of $5.8 million after a net expense of $15.1 million related

COLTON, Calif. -- Stater Bros. Holdings here reported strong sales gains in its third fiscal quarter ended June 27, although the company posted a loss for the quarter because of one-time expenses.

ncluded the five-month strike-lockout that affected Stater Bros.' larger competitors in the region.

The company reported a net loss for the quarter of $5.8 million after a net expense of $15.1 million related to the purchase of $398 million of the company's 10.75% senior notes, the early retirement of $20 million of its 5% subordinates notes and the redemption of notes for Santee Dairies, in which Stater Bros. recently acquired 100% ownership.

For the 39-week year-to-date period, net income was $59.1 million, which included a tax gain of $13.1 million from a litigation settlement that transferred the previously outstanding 50% ownership interest in Santee to the company. Net income in the year-ago period was $7.5 million.

Commenting during a conference call last week on the the vote by the Los Angeles City Council to require Wal-Mart Stores to analyze the economic impact of supercenters it proposes to build in the city (see Page 4), Jack Brown, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Stater Bros., said it could inspire other communities to pass similar legislation.

Although the law will not affect his company directly because Stater does not have any stores in the city, Brown said the ruling "reflects the mood of politicians as they look at Wal-Mart, and since L.A. often leads the legislative chariot, this is a pretty stunning deal."

"Obviously the law won't prompt Wal-Mart to walk away from California, but it will make for a tougher row to hoe," he added.

3RD-QUARTER RESULTS

Qtr Ended 6/29/04; 6/27/03

Sales: $848.0 million; $688.1 million

Change: +23.2%

Comp-store: +17.1%

Net Income: ($5.8 million); $769,000

39 Weeks 2004; 2003

Sales: $2.9 billion; $2.05 billion

Change: +39.9%

Comp-store: +36.2%

Net Income: $59.1 million; $7.5 million

Change: +688%