Albertson's puts fiscal tally in plus column

Albertson's Inc has reported fiscal first-quarter results for the period ended May 1, 2003. Net earnings totaled $172 million, $337 million higher than the $165 million loss recorded during the first quarter a year ago.

Sales for the quarter reached $8.940 billion, up from $8.921 billion recorded during the same quarter in 2002. Gross profit was 28.6% of sales, versus 29.4% achieved a year earlier, reflecting the Boise ID food retailer's strategy to invest gross margin to drive competitiveness.

“The first quarter yielded a much tougher-than-expected economic and competitive climate,” said Larry Johnston, chairman and chief executive officer. “Even as the war ended, we saw no improvement. Although sales were much tougher to come by as the quarter progressed, both our food and drug teams promoted aggressively, and were successful in protecting our market share.”

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