US food retailer and wholesaler Supervalu has reported earnings of US$63.9m for the fourth quarter to 22 February, up from $32.8m a year earlier when the company booked big restructuring charges.

Net earnings per share for the quarter increased to 48 cents, compared with 24 cents in the year-ago period, reported The Associated Press.

Adjusting for restructuring charges of $1.8m, the company earned $65.7m, or 49 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimates of 47 cents per share.

The company’s sales rose 2% to $4.61bn, while same-store sales were flat, compared to last year’s 1.3% rise.

Sales at the company’s retail food segment rose 6% year-on-year in the first quarter, mainly due to the addition of more stores.

Sales at Supervalu’s food distribution unit declined 1.9%.

For the full fiscal year, the company earned $257.0m, or $1.91 per share, including $1.8m restructuring charges, compared to $198.3m, or $1.48 per share, a year earlier.

Total sales for the full year were $19.16bn, down from $20.29bn in the previous year.

Supervalu said it expects to earn between $2.00 and $2.15 in fiscal 2004, on flat same-store sales.