MINNEAPOLIS — Nash Finch here last week said it saw a few bright spots in its retail operations, despite posting negative comparable-store sales and a decline in retail EBITDA for its second quarter.
Alec Covington, president and chief executive officer, said the company was seeing good results from its Hispanic-oriented Avanza locations — comps there were up more than 13% for the quarter — and has seen strong initial response to its new “family fresh market” prototype in Hudson, Wis. However, the retail division overall posted comp-store sales declines of 3.9% in the quarter, including a 1.7% decline attributed to the fact that Easter occurred in the first quarter this year instead of the second.
Retail EBITDA slid 20.9%, to $7 million, while total retail sales fell 2%, to $137.7 million. The company attributed the decline in earnings primarily to conversion costs for two acquired stores and to remodeling disruptions, plus a prior-year gain of $500,000.
“We had a lot of self-induced, self-inflicted movement in the second quarter that held back the results of our retail division,” Covington said in a conference call with analysts. “But those were decisions that we made, and so far it looks like those decisions were good ones that will pay off good dividends for us in the future.”
Overall, Nash Finch reported net income of $10.1 million for the second quarter, which ended June 14 — a gain of 5.2% — while sales fell 2%, to $1.04 billion.