Stater Earnings Rise in Q4; Comps Fall

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. Holdings here said Thursday sales declined for the recently ended fourth quarter, but earnings were up as the company continued to focus on values for customers and cost controls.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. Holdings [3] here said Thursday sales declined for the recently ended fourth quarter, but earnings were up as the company continued to focus on values for customers and cost controls.

For the 13-week quarter, which ended Sept. 26, net income rose 19.3% to $5.9 million, while sales fell 5.3% to $897.4 million. Same-store sales fell 3.3% during the period. Excluding the impact of the sale of Santee Dairy, sales also dropped 3.3%.

For the year, net income fell 28% to $24.6 million and sales dropped 4.2% to $3.6 billion. Same-store sales fell 2.5%. Excluding the effect of the dairy transaction, sales fell 3.2%.

According to Jack Brown, chairman, president and chief executive officer, "[As] we continue to face some of the toughest economic and competitive pressures in our company's history, we continue to focus on the values we can pass on to our customers so they get the most out of their shopping dollars and assisting them during these difficult times. We remain committed to controlling costs as we weather the effect of these economic times."