US grocery wholesaler and retailer Fresh Brands has posted a 29% fall in quarterly earnings, partly due to increased promotional spending and one-off charges.

The company reported net income of US$1.02m, or 20 cents a share, for the third quarter, compared to $1.44m, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier.

Net sales increased 7.6% to $152.6m from $141.9m.

As a result of the weaker performance, Fresh Brands said it no longer expects to achieve its August guidance for full-year earnings slightly below the lower end of its $1.54 to $1.60 per share range.

The company said third-quarter comparable-store sales for the Piggly Wiggly chain and Dick's Supermarkets rose 4.3%.

Fresh Brands said the third-quarter results also included an incremental charge of $0.34m for potentially uncollectable franchise receivables and $0.35m in professional fees related to attempted acquisitions, reported Dow Jones News Service.