GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Spartan Stores here on Wednesday reported a 6% decline in comparable-store sales for its third fiscal quarter, citing the lingering weakness in the Michigan economy. The comp-sales decline followed a slide of 5.1% in the second quarter.
Net income for the 16-week third quarter, which ended Jan. 2, fell 40%, to about $5 million, although sales were up slightly for the period, to $786.9 million. The increase reflects the acquisition of the VG's Food and Pharmacy chain and the opening of additional fuel centers, partially offset by the lower comps.
EBITDA for the quarter was $26 million, or 3.3% of sales, vs. $29.7 million, or 3.8% of sales in the same period last year. Operating earnings totaled $13.7 million, down about 23.5% from the record level of a year ago.
"We are pleased with our ability to profitably work through this prolonged weak economic environment," said Dennis Eidson, Spartan's president and chief executive officer, noting that Michigan has experienced a decline in population and has led the nation in unemployment for 45 months. "Consumers remain cautious in their spending behavior, and we continued to experience price deflation," he added.
Through the first three quarters, net income fell 21.5%, to $22.3 million, on flat sales of $1.99 billion.
Read More of Today's Headlines