updated 6/3/2011 2:45:47 PM ET 2011-06-03T18:45:47

LOS ANGELES, June 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Unified Grocers, Inc. ("Unified" or the "Company"), the largest wholesale grocery distributor in the western United States, announced earnings of $2.3 million for the second fiscal quarter ended April 2, 2011 ("2011 period"), as compared to earnings of $3.1 million for the second fiscal quarter ended April 3, 2010 ("2010 period").

The Los Angeles-based cooperative reported net sales of $933.0 million for the 2011 period, as compared to $959.7 million for the 2010 period. The Company attributed its sales decrease principally to the ongoing general decline in economic conditions in the western U.S. and the weeks preceding Easter occurring in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2010. The decrease in net sales was partially offset by additional sales generated from new customers in fiscal 2011.

Reductions in operating expenses and strong inventory holding gains for the quarter were not enough to offset a decrease in net sales and higher health care costs. As a result, earnings before estimated patronage dividends and income taxes were $2.7 million for the 2011 period, compared to $4.9 million for the 2010 period.

On a year-to-date basis, net earnings decreased to $5.9 million compared to $6.8 million last year. Sales and earnings before patronage dividends decreased to $1.913 billion and 11.5 million, respectively.

"The economic situation is generating mixed results throughout the regions in which we operate," said Al Plamann, president and chief executive officer, Unified Grocers. "In the Pacific Northwest, our upscale retail operators are outperforming other formats and are optimistic about the future. Many of our retailers throughout California, on the other hand, are continuing to experience sales and margin pressure and, in some cases, are aggressively implementing cost control measures.

"These mixed results also apply to inflation, which we believe will play a significant role in our results for the remainder of the year," said Plamann. "While we benefit from inventory gains, these gains often are offset by higher business costs — such as healthcare — and also by consumers trading down to lower priced products."

Founded in 1922, Unified Grocers is a retailer-owned wholesale grocery distributor that supplies independent retailers throughout the western United States. Unified and its subsidiaries, which generated approximately $4 billion in sales during fiscal 2010, offer independent retailers all the resources they need to compete in the supermarket industry.

An online version of Unified's Form 10-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available on Unified's website at www.unifiedgrocers.com and at www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml .

The Unified Grocers, Inc. logo is available at  http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=1214

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements about the future performance of Unified Grocers based on Management's assumptions and beliefs in light of information currently available to it. There are a variety of factors that could cause actual and future results to differ materially from those anticipated by the statements made above. These factors are outlined in the Company's Form 10-K and other interim reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Furthermore, Unified undertakes no obligation to update, amend or clarify forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

 

Unified Grocers, Inc.
 
 

(dollars in thousands)
For the 13 Weeks Ended For the 26 Weeks Ended
  April 2, 

2011
April 3, 

2010
April 2, 

2011
April 3, 

2010
Net sales $932,979 $959,671 $1,913,254 $1,959,509
 

Operating income
5,843 7,881 17,833 21,409
 

Earnings before estimated patronage dividends and income taxes
2,764 4,934 11,517 15,636
 

Estimated patronage dividends
(389) 362 3,017 5,161
 

Net earnings
$2,262 $3,068 $5,910 $6,755
CONTACT: Tom Schaffner
         (323) 264-5200 ext. 4150

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