MINNEAPOLIS — Concerns on Wall Street over the negative impact of inflation drove Supervalu's stock price down nearly 8% yesterday after the company reported strong financial results for the first quarter ended June 16. Acknowledging that inflation was hovering close to 3%, compared with 2% three months ago, Jeff Noddle, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "We seem to be in the teeth of the wind of inflation at this point in time, [though] it can change rather quickly, and we're hopeful we'll see some lessening of the inflation rate later in the year." Reflecting the acquisition of Albertsons' premier properties a year ago, sales for the 16-week quarter rose 130% to $13.3 billion, with earnings up 70.1% to $148 million and identical-store sales up 1.2% — reflecting a jump of 1.7% at the Albertsons stores and a drop of 0.4% at the legacy Supervalu operations. Noddle said Supervalu is on track in its three-year effort to integrate the Albertsons stores. "On all fronts this was a highly successful first year, which sets the foundation for the next two years of our journey," he said. "We are now beginning to execute our business plans that will maximize the full potential of our transformed company, including the delivery of synergies."
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