REAL ESTATE

Report: SuperValu to open 160 Save-A-Lot stores in 2011

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — SuperValu plans to increase the footprint of its value division Save-A-Lot by 160 new stores this year, GlobeSt.com reported.

“This past year we added 92 net Save-A-Lot stores, and this fiscal year we’re looking to add another 160 net stores,” a spokesman said in the report.

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FINANCE

OfficeMax Q1 profit falls 53%

BY CSA STAFF

Naperville, Ill. — OfficeMax said Thursday that its net income dropped 53% in the first quarter.

Net income fell to $11.9 million from $25.4 million. Revenue fell 2.8% to $1.86 billion, though it beat analysts’ estimates

The company blamed bad weather, store discounts and "an unfavorable product sales mix shift" in the technology department. Revenue from direct sales to business customers fell more steeply than revenue in stores.

The chain was challenged by operating expenses. CEO Ravi Saligram said he was disappointed with the results and that the company had put programs in place to cut expenses to last year’s levels.

“We are disappointed with our start to the year,” Saligram said. “In recognition of current trends and upon a deeper evaluation of our existing capabilities, we have put in place strong actions, including significant cost mitigation programs to bring our expenses in-line with last year. We believe these actions should help drive improved performance."

Mexico was a bright spot. Though OfficeMax closed six stores in the United States and plans to close about nine more this year, it expects to open eight to 10 in Mexico.

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FINANCE

Safeway Q1 profit falls on tax charge

BY CSA STAFF

Pleasanton, Calif. — Taxes related to Safeway’s effort to pay down debt reduced its first-quarter net income, but the company’s adjusted results beat Wall Street’s expectations as its revenue rose, the Associated Press reported.

The company earned $25.1 million for the quarter, compared with $96 million a year earlier. This includes a tax charge related to a plan to pay down its U.S. debt with part of a $1.1 billion dividend in cash and debt from its Canadian operations.

Revenue rose 5% to $9.77 billion, beating expectations for $9.45 billion. Same-store sales rose 3.5%. Excluding the impact of fuel, that figure rose 0.4%.

The grocery chain said that its sales are consistently improving. Safeway’s profit margin, however, was hurt by the higher prices it paid for the gasoline it sold during the period, and its shares fell.

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