Spartan Posts Q1 Sales Gains; Profits Flat

Spartan Stores said it saw sales gains in both its distribution and retail segments in the fiscal first quarter, although profits were basically flat.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spartan Stores [2] here said it saw sales gains in both its distribution and retail segments in the fiscal first quarter, although profits were basically flat.

The company on Wednesday posted net income of $6 million for the 12-week period, which ended June 18, but said net income would have been up about 2.7%, to $6.5 million, adjusting for charges in both the recent and year-ago quarters.

Retail division sales increased 4.1%, to $345.4 million, primarily due to increased fuel volume and prices, the company said. Comparable-store sales excluding fuel fell 0.9%, vs. year-ago levels.

Distribution sales were up 4.8% to $257.1 million, for an overall sales increase of 4.4%, to $602.6 million. Retail segment operating earnings for the quarter increased 23% to $6.6 million, which the company attributed to cost containment, partially offset by increased debit/credit card fees. Operating earnings in the distribution division were down 7.3% to $7.4 million, which the company attributed to a lower rate of procurement gains, increased inventory-accounting expenses, and the favorable settlement of a claim in the prior year.