US grocery retailer Albertson's has announced a rise in earnings in the first quarter ended 5 May 2005 as a result of the continued recovery in sales in Southern California and the addition of Shaws.

Net earnings from continuing operations rose $107m compared to $56m in the first quarter of the prior year. 

Total sales grew to $10bn as compared to $8.6bn in last year's first quarter.  The increase in total sales was primarily due to the acquisition of Shaw's, progress in recovering from the labour dispute in Southern California, new store expansion, and several new nationally coordinated merchandising programs launched across the company's banners, the company said.