LOS ANGELES — Arden Group here, parent of the 18-unit Gelson's Markets chain, said that new labor contracts calling for reduced contributions to pension and health care funds boosted the company's profitability for the third quarter.
In the 13-week period, which ended Sept. 29, Arden posted a 54% increase in net income, to $8.88 million, on a 1.1% gain in sales, to $119.43 million. Same-store sales also rose 1.1%.
The company said pension and health care expenses decreased from $5.53 million in the year-ago third quarter to $1.14 million in the current-year period, including a retroactive credit of $2.37 million.
Gross margins as a percentage of sales also grew in the third quarter, to 39.1% vs. 38.4% in the third quarter of 2006.
For the year-to-date span, net income was up 39.5%, to $21.85 million, on a 1.2% gain in sales, to $359.69 million.