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Unified posts $7.9M loss, 4.1% sales drop in Q2

Transaction costs, deflation impact results

Unified Grocers said Wednesday that its sales fell by 4.1% and its losses accelerated in the fiscal second quarter as the distributor faced customer losses, deflation and expenses associated with its forthcoming takeover.

Unified, the largest grocery wholesaler in Western U.S., said in April it would be acquired by Supervalu.

In the 13-week second quarter ended April 1 the distributor posted $877.4 million in sales, a 4.1% decrease it attributed to the loss of non-member business and to a loss of sales following the sale of its bakery manufacturing facility. Lower meat prices also contributed to the sales decline. Logistics improvements and reduced administrative expenses partially offset this loss of income.

“The business is on a steady track, despite the distractions and expenses associated with the Supervalu transaction and other one-off expenses that negatively impacted operating income in the second quarter,” Bob Ling, president and CEO, Unified Grocers. “Total sales to our existing customer base have remained stable and even in a deflationary cycle, our margins are sound after removing the impact of lowering prices in the dairy. We have made tremendous improvements in our core business, which remains sound despite the headwinds our broader industry is facing.”

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