US retailer Safeway has said revenue increased 3.2% to US$8.9bn in the first quarter of 2006 compared to $8.6bn in Q1 last year, as operating costs fell.
Operating and administrative expense declined to 25.53% of sales in the first quarter of 2006 from 25.80% in the first quarter of 2005.
Net income was $142.9m for the quarter, compared to $131.3m for the first quarter of 2005.
Safeway president and CEO Steve Burd said: “We are pleased with our results this quarter. As expected, the momentum we built in 2005 has continued into the first quarter of 2006.
“Taking into account the timing of the New Year’s and Easter holidays, our identical-store sales increase of 1.5% is consistent with our guidance of 3% for the year. We also produced double-digit earnings growth while absorbing a number of significant cost increases.”
Gross profit at the company increased to $2.6bn in the first quarter of 2006 from $2.5bn in the first quarter of 2005.
Safeway confirmed guidance for 2006 of $1.55 to $1.65 earnings per diluted share and $400m to $600m of free cash flow.