The second largest US grocery supplies distributor, Supervalu, has reported net income for the third quarter ended on 30 November down slightly to US$57.1m, from $58m a year earlier.

Supervalu, which also operates 1,358 low-priced food stores under names like Save-A-Lot and Shop ‘n Save, said quarterly sales rose to US$4.7bn from $4.61bn. Sales at Supervalu’s supermarkets open at least a year, or same-store sales, fell 2.3%.
Looking ahead, Supervalu affirmed its reduced fourth-quarter earnings forecast of 55 cents a share to 60 cents a share, reported Reuters.

Commenting on the results, Jeff Noddle, chairman and CEO of Supervalu, said, “As we announced earlier this month, both segments of our business were impacted by the weak economy as consumers continue to trade down and curtail grocery spending. The soft economy spawned a more competitive promotional environment, as well. In addition, the company experienced a lack of product cost inflation in its overall market basket of goods and saw specific product cost deflation in meat, deli and dairy categories. When all these factors were combined with sharply rising employee benefit costs, it offset our progress in a number of areas across the company.”