Unified Reports First Quarter Results

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 18, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Unified Grocers, Inc. ("Unified" or the "Company"), the largest wholesale grocery distributor in the western United States, announced earnings of $3.6 million for the fiscal quarter ended January 1, 2011 ("2011 period"), as compared to earnings of $3.7 million for the fiscal quarter ended January 2, 2010 ("2010 period").

The Los Angeles-based cooperative reported net sales of $980.3 million for the 2011 period, as compared to $999.8 million for the 2010 period. The Company attributed its sales decrease to overall weak economic conditions, including a shift in customer demand towards lower cost items. The decrease in net sales was partially offset by additional sales generated from new customers in fiscal 2011.

Earnings before estimated patronage dividends and income taxes were $8.8 million for the 2011 period, compared to $10.7 million for the 2010 period. The decrease was due, in large part, to the general decline in net sales, partially offset by lower overall distribution, selling, and administrative expenses.

"There continues to be much uncertainty among consumers in the marketplace and this has caused them to hold back on spending," said Al Plamann, president and chief executive officer, Unified Grocers. "While there have been times in which consumers were willing to spend a little more — like during the holidays — these periods have generally been short-lived and many have since refocused their attention on lower cost items, deals and coupons.

"It is possible, however, to be successful in this business climate," Plamann said. "Our independents, for example, are succeeding in this environment because they are willing to differentiate themselves from their competition in the marketplace. Being close to your customers and finding unique and different ways to meet their needs at store level is a decided advantage today."

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 and at .

The Unified Grocers, Inc. logo is available at 

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.

CONTACT: Tom Schaffner (323) 264-5200 ext. 4150