SUPERVALU EVALUATES NORTHWEST

MINNEAPOLIS -- Supervalu here said last week it was still evaluating its options in the Pacific Northwest in the wake of Haggen's decision to switch distributors.on than Supervalu anticipated, Jeff Noddle, Supervalu's chief executive officer, said in a conference call last week."We're in discussions with our labor partners in the Northwest, but we're not ready to make a decision yet," Noddle said.He

MINNEAPOLIS -- Supervalu here said last week it was still evaluating its options in the Pacific Northwest in the wake of Haggen's decision to switch distributors.

on than Supervalu anticipated, Jeff Noddle, Supervalu's chief executive officer, said in a conference call last week.

"We're in discussions with our labor partners in the Northwest, but we're not ready to make a decision yet," Noddle said.

He added that the distributor had numerous opportunities to add business, particularly in the Midwest where Milwaukee-based Roundy's said earlier this month it would close two distribution centers, leaving 116 grocery customers seeking new suppliers.

"We expect some opportunities to arise from the Roundy's situation, and we're aggressively pursuing that now," Noddle said, noting the former Roundy's customers, mainly in southern Illinois and Indiana, could be serviced from Supervalu's Champlain, Ill., facility.

In financial results released week, Supervalu said overall sales increased 1.4% to $5.9 billion during its fiscal first quarter ended June 19. The sales increase was driven by retail sales, which gained 5.9% to $3.1 billion, offset by a slide of 3.4% in wholesale figures as compared to the same period last year. The decrease in wholesale sales reflected last year's asset swap with C&S Wholesale Grocers, Keene, N.H., Supervalu's exit from the Denver market and normal customer attrition.

Retail results were buoyed by new-store growth and a comparable-store sales increase of 1.8%.

1ST-QUARTER RESULTS

Qtr Ended: 6/19/04; 6/14/03

Sales: $5.91 billion; $5.84 billion

Change: +1.4%

Comp-store: +1.8%

Net Income*: $149.4 million; $73.7 million

Change: +102.7%

Inc/Share: $1.09; 55 cents

* The recent quarter includes a gain of $68.3 million, or 50 cents per share, on the sale of the company's interest in WinCo Foods.