Supervalu 4Q Profits Up 30%
Minneapolis Supervalu said fourth-quarter profits jumped 30% as it paid down debt and cut administrative expenses. Earnings rose to $156 million from $120 million in the year-ago quarter.
Fourth-quarter retail net sales were $8.1 billion compared to $8.2 billion last year, primarily reflecting the impact of store closures in the acquired operations combined with flat identical store sales. Retail square footage decreased 2.5% from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007 with the previously announced closure of underperforming stores which more than offset new store square footage.
Supervalu has been paying down debt since buying most of Albertson’s stores in 2006. Chairman and CEO Jeff Noddle said the company beat its own goal of paying off $400 million by June. Its bill for interest dropped to $157 million for the quarter, compared with $173 million a year ago. Noddle said Supervalu would try to pay off another $400 million in the upcoming year.
For the full year, Supervalu earned $593 million, up from $452 million during the prior year. Revenue rose to $44.05 billion, from $37.41 billion a year ago.
Kroger offers free groceries for tax rebates
CINCINNATI Kroger has reported that starting May 2, customers can exchange their tax refund or economic stimulus checks for gift cards that will be loaded with an extra $30.00, $60.00 or $120.00, depending on the amount originally added.
David Dillon, Kroger chairman and ceo, said. “Kroger’s program allows our customers to stretch their grocery dollars further. We are excited about the opportunity to touch the lives of millions of families across the country by helping them extend their household budgets through this special program.”
The program will be available throughout Kroger stores nationwide — including Kroger, Baker’s, City Market, Dillons, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Gerbes, Hilander, Jay C, King Soopers, Owen’s, Pay Less, Ralphs, Smith’s and QFC stores.
eBay sees boost in 1Q revenue
SAN JOSE, Calif. eBay posted first quarter revenue of $2.19 billion, up $424 million from the same period last year. Revenue growth was driven primarily by Marketplaces net transaction revenues, the ongoing expansion at PayPal, Skype and the company’s global classifieds business. The company recorded net income on a GAAP basis of $460 million or 34 cents per diluted share, and non-GAAP net income of $562 million or 42 cents per diluted share.
“This was a very strong financial quarter for the company,” said eBay president and ceo John Donahoe. “The results reflect the strength provided by our diverse portfolio of businesses. Our stability and growth continues to give us the confidence to make innovative changes to our products to keep customers engaged for years to come.”
For the full year 2008,eBay now expects net revenues in the range of $8.7 billion to $9 billion with GAAP earnings per diluted share in the range of $1.35 to $1.40 and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share in the range of $1.70 to $1.75.
For the second quarter 2008, eBay now expects net revenues in the range of $2.1 billion to $2.15 billion with GAAP earnings per diluted share in the range of 30 cents to 32 cents and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share in the range of 39 cents to 41 cents.