Stater Bros.' fiscal Q1 earnings grew to US$11.1M from US$5.4M a year ago as consolidated sales rose 1.6% to US$984M, comparable-store sales increased 1.4%; company sacrificing gross margin to keep prices low for customers during economic downturn

SAN BERNARDINO, California , February 12, 2014 (press release) –  Today, Jack H. Brown, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Stater Bros. Holdings Inc. announced financial results for the thirteen week period ended December 29, 2013.

The Company's consolidated sales in the thirteen weeks ended December 29, 2013 were $984.0 million up $15.3 million or 1.58% from the thirteen weeks ended December 30, 2012 consolidated sales of $968.7 million.  Like store sales also increased $13.7 million or 1.42% for the thirteen weeks ended December 29, 2013 compared to the thirteen weeks ended December 30, 2012.

Gross profit margins for the thirteen weeks ended December 29, 2013 were 26.28% of sales compared to the thirteen weeks ended December 30, 2012 gross profit margin of 25.88% of sales.

The Company reported net income for the first quarter ended December 29, 2013 of $11.1 million compared to net income of $5.4 million for first quarter of the prior fiscal year.

Brown said, "We are pleased with our sales and customer count growth in the first quarter of fiscal 2014 given the extremely competitive environment in Southern California.  We continue to be the number '1' full service supermarket chain in Southern California.

"We believe  that our sales and customer count growth is due to our 'Valued Customers' positive response to our 'Low Price' marketing strategy of keeping our prices as low as possible during these continued challenging economic times while continuing to provide our customers the service and value they deserve on each of their visits to their local Stater Bros.' supermarket. 

"During the extended economic downturn, we have sacrificed gross margin by not fully passing on the costs of inflation which has allowed us to keep our prices low for our 'Valued Customers'.  In addition, in order to continue to invest in our customers, we are constantly looking for opportunities where we can reduce our costs in areas such as improving our shrink or product loss, and improving our efficiencies at both our stores and in our distribution facility.  

"Our strategy over the past several years has had a positive impact on our sales growth.  We have been and remain committed to providing low prices, great value and outstanding service to all of our 'Valued Customers'."

Stater Bros. is the largest privately owned Supermarket Chain in Southern California and the largest private employer in both San Bernardino County and Riverside County, with annual sales in 2013 of $3.9 billion.  The Company currently operates 167 Supermarkets, and there are over 18,000 members of the Stater Bros. Supermarket Family. 

STATER BROS ... PROUDLY SERVING SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FAMILIES FOR 78 YEARS

STATER BROS. HOLDINGS INC.

Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets

(In thousands)

Unaudited

           
     

09/29/13

 

12/29/13

Assets

     
 

Current assets

     
   

Cash and cash equivalents

$ 242,818

 

$ 210,949

   

Receivables, net

37,493

 

49,773

   

Inventories

228,116

 

258,192

   

Other

39,876

 

40,338

           
 

Total current assets

548,303

 

559,252

           
 

Property and equipment, net

600,019

 

597,624

           
 

Deferred debt issuance costs, net

6,173

 

5,628

 

Other

42,851

 

45,976

           

Total assets

$ 1,197,346

 

$ 1,208,480

           
           

Liabilities and stockholder's equity

     
 

Current liabilities

     
   

Accounts payable

$ 144,214

 

$ 151,446

   

Accrued expenses and other liabilities

153,987

 

152,334

   

Current portion of long-term debt

25,582

 

90,503

           
 

Total current liabilities

323,783

 

394,283

           
 

Long-term debt, less current portion

608,711

 

540,000

 

Capital lease obligations, less current portion

414

 

291

 

Other long-term liabilities

150,988

 

149,400

           
 

Total stockholder's equity

113,450

 

124,506

           

Total liabilities and stockholder's equity

$ 1,197,346

 

$ 1,208,480

 

STATER BROS. HOLDINGS INC.

Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income

(In thousands)

Unaudited

         
   

13 Weeks

 

13 Weeks

   

Ended

 

Ended

   

12/30/12

 

12/29/13

Sales

$ 968,744

 

$ 984,025

         

Gross profit

250,729

 

258,635

         

Operating expenses:

     
 

Selling, general and administrative expenses

220,079

 

217,138

 

(Gain) loss on sale of property and equipment

(1,933)

 

10

 

Depreciation and amortization

11,683

 

11,373

Total operating expenses

229,829

 

228,521

         

Operating profit

20,900

 

30,114

         

Interest income

23

 

15

Interest expense

(11,809)

 

(11,486)

         

Income before income taxes

9,114

 

18,643

         

Income taxes

3,665

 

7,587

         

Net income

$ 5,449

 

$ 11,056

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