Californian supermarket chain Stater Bros booked higher first-half sales and earnings yesterday (8 May), insisting that investments in price and quality were allowing it to grow footfall.

The grocer said yesterday that net income for the six months to 25 March more than doubled to US$25.4m, up from $12.2m last year, boosted by lower financing costs.

Sales rose 4.74% to $1.9bn and the company did not open any new stores in the period. The firm was able to attract more shoppers due to investments in quality, price and service, president and CEO Jack Brown suggested.

“By keeping our prices low, our quality high and providing our customers great customer service, we have retained our valued customers and have grown customer counts even though the economy in our marketing area continues to be challenged,” Brown commented.

These investments were funded by lower interest expenses, which dropped $9.9m because the group has paid down approximately $125m of debt and refinanced “much” of its remaining debt to lower interest rate loans.

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