Californian retailer Stater Bros. has booked a drop in sales for its fiscal first quarter, despite an increase in profits.

The company reported net income for the 13 weeks to 27 December of US$6.7m compared to net income of $3.5m in the prior year.

However, Consolidated sales dropped 3.7% to $923.9m, with like-store sales dipping 2.2%.

The firm’s total supermarket sales were relatively flat, declining 1.1%.

Jack Brown, chairman, president and CEO of Stater Bros said: “During the quarter we completed the sale of the dairy to Dean Foods. We sold the dairy for the right business reason, which was to protect the jobs of our employees at the dairy.

"While our quarterly like-store sales declined over the previous year, our customer counts were up over the same time last year. We remain committed to cost control as we navigate through this national economic recovery."