Safeway has said that a four-year contract with 785 workers across 12 stores in the Greater Spokane area has been ratified.

The employees, belonging to the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1439, ratified by a wide margin the tentative agreement reached between the company and the Local, a statement said.

No further details of the deal were made disclosed in the statement.

In February the US retailer posted a 12% increase in fourth-quarter net income, but results fell short of expectations.

Net income for the period reached US$338m, or 79 cents a share, up from $301.1m, or 68 cents a share, a year earlier.

Total sales increased 3.4% to $13.8bn in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to $13.4bn in the same period of 2007. This increase was driven by the additional week in 2008 and identical-store sales increases, excluding fuel, of 0.4%, partly offset by a decrease in the Canadian exchange rate and lower fuel sales.