LOS ANGELES — Unified Grocers here said yesterday a non-recurring gain in the prior year resulted in an earnings decline for the third quarter and 39 weeks ended June 30. Net income declined 16% to $4.3 million in the 13-week quarter and 24% to $11.3 million for the year to date, reflecting the year-ago impact of approximately $8 million from a favorable legal settlement and insurance reserve adjustments. Sales were up 8.8% to $790.6 million for the quarter and 6.3% to $2.3 billion for the year to date — a result, the company said, of new stores opened by members and continued growth in gourmet, ethnic foods, and natural and organic products. Al Plamann, president and chief executive officer, said, "We are well ahead of our financial plan for both the quarter and the fiscal year, particularly when considering the non-recurring gain that helped boost our performance in the 2006 period. Our members continue to open new stores and to focus on products that help differentiate their businesses in the marketplace." Patronage dividends fell 48.7% to $4 million in the quarter and 18% to $14 million in the 39-week period. Unified has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Associated Grocers, Seattle, and expects the deal to close after AG shareholders vote next month.
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