US grocery retailer Albertsons has reported lower quarterly earnings, hit by the ongoing labour dispute in Southern California.

The company posted net earnings of US$92m, or 25 cents per share, for the third quarter to 30 October, compared to net earnings of $188m, or 47 cents per share, a year earlier.

“Results for the quarter were materially impacted by two labour disputes, particularly the ongoing labour dispute with the UFCW in Southern California,” the company said in a statement.

CEO Larry Johnston said that while the labour disputes had negatively impacted the overall results, the company was pleased with the business’ underlying performance. Without the labour disputes, the company believed it was on track to meet analysts’ estimates, Johnston said.

Albertsons posted a 1.6% rise in total third-quarter sales to $8.80bn. The company said that until the Southern California labour dispute, it was on track to exceed its forecasted sales targets for the third quarter, both in total and in the strike-affected market.

Total third-quarter comparable store sales, including the impact of the labour disputes, declined 0.8% and identical store sales declined 1.1%. However, when adjusted for the labour disputes, total comparable store sales increased 0.7% and identical store sales increased 0.3%, Albertsons said.