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Stater Customer Counts Rising

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. Markets here said Wednesday customer counts are still rising as the momentum from its 75th anniversary promotions in 2011 continues to attract new customers.

The company picked up 1.2 million additional customers in the first fiscal quarter, nearly half as many as the 2.5 million it added last year, Jack Brown, chairman and chief executive officer, told bondholders during a financial conference call.

Sales for the 13-week  quarter, which ended Dec. 25, rose 6.9% to $960.7 million, and same-store sales also rose 6.9%. Net income was up 217.1% to $9 million — the result of a more normalized debt paydown for the quarter of $11.9 million, compared with $19.2 million a year ago following a refinancing, an industry analyst told SN.

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