UWG'S FIRST-QUARTER SALES INCREASE 17.2%

LOS ANGELES -- Unified Western Grocers here said it experienced sales growth in each of its three marketing divisions during the first quarter ended Dec. 27, 2003, with additional growth in Southern California resulting from the strike-lockout there..Additional sales in Southern California came from increased revenues at members' stores resulting from the labor dispute involving Albertsons, Kroger-owned

LOS ANGELES -- Unified Western Grocers here said it experienced sales growth in each of its three marketing divisions during the first quarter ended Dec. 27, 2003, with additional growth in Southern California resulting from the strike-lockout there.

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Additional sales in Southern California came from increased revenues at members' stores resulting from the labor dispute involving Albertsons, Kroger-owned Ralphs, and Safeway-owned Vons and Pavilions, the company noted.

Net income for the quarter increased 50% to $1.95 million; earnings before estimated patronage dividends and income taxes rose 33.4% to $8.2 million. Estimated patronage dividends rose 27.6% to $5.1 million for the quarter.

According to Al Plamann, president and chief executive officer, "Forces in the marketplace are favoring independents throughout the Western United States, and we are working hard for our member retailers to support this growth in many ways. We are very encouraged by our overall results for the first quarter, and are looking to continue the trend throughout the remainder of the year."