Unified Sees Q2 Sales Decline

Unified Grocers said earnings increased and sales fell for the second quarter, which ended March 28.

LOS ANGELES — Unified Grocers here said earnings increased and sales fell for the second quarter, which ended March 28.

Net earnings for the quarter rose 94.8% to $2.5 million, while sales fell 4.1% to $951.7 million. For the first half, net income dropped 15% to $6.3 million, while sales declined 2.3% to $2 billion.

The company said the income decline for the half was related primarily to lower sales, the conversion of Seattle-area customers to membership in the cooperative; and lower inventory holding gains resulting from vendor price increases.

The company said it attributed the sales decline to the post-bankruptcy transition of The Markets (formerly Brown & Cole), Bellingham, Wash., to Supervalu; to the shift of Easter to the third quarter this year; and to the softer economy. Those declines were somewhat offset, Unified said, by continued growth in the company's specialty division, whose sales rose more than $10 million.

“We are experiencing softness in sales, a condition that may continue, but we also see our retailers adapting to changing consumer purchasing patterns, and I am confident in their ability to navigate through these tough times,” said Al Plamann, president and chief executive officer. “Our liquidity remains strong, and we are positioned to help our retailers capitalize on new opportunities that may be emerging from this challenging business environment.”

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