Supervalu Inc. posted a sales decline for Q3

Supervalu Inc. posted a sales decline for Q3

US grocery retailer, Supervalu Inc has reported a jump in third-quarter profits but mixed sales across its business.

Net earnings for the 12 weeks to the end of November stood at US$31m, compared to $16m a year ago.

Profits were helped by lower infrastructure costs and a fall in SG&A expenses. Earnings from a services agreement with Albertson's LLC, the US retailer that snapped up five Supervalu banners last year, were also up.

However, net sales dipped from $4.05bn to $4.01bn, with identical-store sales from its retail food business, which includes the Farm Fresh and Shop 'n Save banners, falling 1.9%.

Sales from Supervalu's independent business, which serves around 1,900 stores across the country, dropped 3.7%.

However, identical-store sales from its Save-a-Lot discount chain were higher, increasing 1.7%.

CEO Sam Duncan felt the company had "made positive strides in all three of our business segments to better position the company for financial growth and improve shareholder value but said there was still "work to do to improve our sales trajectory".