Californian retailer Stater Bros. booked a drop in full-year profits as the US economy weighed on the business.

Net income for the fiscal year to 27 September dropped to US$34.8m from $40.6m in the 2008 fiscal year.

For the fourth quarter, income slid to $5m from $7.2m in the comparable period of the prior year.

Sales, however, edged up by 0.7% to reach $3.77bn for the fifty-two week period. In the fourth quarter sales amounted to $947.2m ($940.2m).

"Our economy continues to hamper growth and has had a negative effect on the family budgets of our 'Valued Customers'", said Jack Brown, chairman, president and CEO.

"We continue to focus on the values we can pass on to our 'Valued Customers' so they get the most out of their shopping dollars while providing a friendly and satisfying experience on each and every one of their visits to our Supermarkets. We remain committed to controlling costs as we weather the effect of these economic times."

In October, the company announced the completed sale of Santee Dairies to Dean Foods.