LAS VEGAS — Supermarket companies grew their sales by about 4.6% in 2007, same-store sales grew 4.2%, and net income hit a record high, according to the annual Food Marketing Institute Speaks survey presented here at the FMI Show yesterday. The 4.2% same-store sales figure matches the growth in food-price inflation for the year. Profits were the highest the survey has ever recorded, however — at 1.91%, according to data from FMI’s Annual Financial Review. The review also found that 86% of respondents were either somewhat or very positive about the profitability outlook for the year. Tim Hammonds, the outgoing president and chief executive officer of FMI, also told attendees that the world has seen “the end of cheap food,” describing several factors that he said foretell ongoing elevated costs for many basic commodities. “This is not temporary,” he said. “We have repriced food.” During the presentation, Hammonds also unveiled more details of FMI's plans to stage an educational event called Future Connect in place of a traditional exhibit trade show next year in Dallas (for more, see the May 5 print issue of SN, or go to: subscribers.supermarketnews.com/retail_financial/fmi_launch_ongoing). The traditional FMI exhibit show will return to Las Vegas in 2010.
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