SPRINGFIELD, N.J. -- Village Super Market here reported that its earnings picture improved but sales fell in both the fourth quarter and year ended July 29.
Quarterly net income totaled $352,000, compared with a net loss of $249,000 in the year-ago period. Sales declined 7.5% to $173.7 million from $187.8 million. Same-store sales increased 0.7% during the period.
For the year, Village recorded net earnings of $578,000, compared with a net loss of $807,000 last year.
Sales decreased 2.6% to $677.3 million from $695.1 million for 52 weeks. Same-store sales slipped 0.7% for the year.
Same-store sales declined due to the effect of "new competitive entries" in the company's New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania market, continued sluggishness in the economy and higher promotional spending last year, the company said.
The fourth quarter also contained 13 weeks this year, compared with 14 in 1994, contributing to depressed sales, said Perry Sumas, president. Moreover, the company operated one less store this year than last, he said.
The improvement in net income was due to higher gross margins and lower payroll and coupon costs -- although these gains were "partially offset" by higher supply costs, Sumas said.
Village, a member of the Wakefern Food Corp. cooperative, operates 23 supermarkets under the ShopRite banner in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.