SpartanNash on Tuesday said sales at its retail stores in Michigan returned to positive comp growth, but that acquired stores — and lapping favorable weather conditions from a year ago — would likely put comps under pressure in the current first quarter.
The Grand Rapid, Mich.-based company said overall sales for the 12-week fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 3, totaled $1.96 billion, an increase of 73.5% from the 11-week fourth quarter a year ago. The sales increase was due mainly to acquired business from Nash Finch Co. and the extra week, offset slightly by store closures.
SpartanNash’s retail segment saw sales improve 34% to $544.1 million, helped by acquired stores and a comparable-store sales increase of 0.4%. The company’s distribution segment realized an 80% sales improvement in the quarter, while its military unit saw sales climb to $565.4 million. SpartanNash reported earnings of $11.8 million in the quarter, up from a $14.8 million loss in the same period last year.
"We are very pleased with our year-end results and the progress we have made in the first year of operations as SpartanNash," Dennis Eidson, SpartanNash's president and CEO said in a statement. "We returned our Michigan supermarkets to positive comparable store sales growth, delivered better than expected adjusted earnings from operations and achieved key integration milestones.”
Eidson said the company expects that folding in stores acquired in the Nash Finch deal “will create negative headwinds” on comps in the first quarter, as will lapping the effect of waeather events sparking favorable sales conditions in last year’s first quarter.
For the fiscal year, SpartanNash sales earned $58.6 million on sales of $7.9 billion.
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