SUPERVALU’s income tax expense was $21 million, or 39.6 percent of pre-tax earnings, for the third quarter, compared to an income tax benefit of $18 million, or 53.7 percent of pre-tax loss in last year’s third quarter.
Third quarter Independent Business net sales were $1.91 billion compared to $1.99 billion last year, a decrease of 3.7 percent, primarily due to lower sales to existing customers, including military, and two larger lost customers partly offset by net new business.
Independent Business operating earnings in the third quarter were $53 million, or 2.8 percent of net sales, and included $4 million of net pre-tax charges related to a multi-employer pension plan withdrawal charge, asset impairment, and other net charges, offset in part by a gain from the sale of a property. When adjusted for these net charges, Independent Business operating earnings in the third quarter were $57 million, or 3.0 percent of net sales. Last year’s Independent Business operating earnings in the third quarter were $51 million, or 2.6 percent of net sales, and included $1 million in pre-tax severance charges. When adjusted for this charge, Independent Business operating earnings in last year’s third quarter were $52 million, or 2.7 percent of net sales. The increase in Independent Business adjusted operating earnings was primarily attributable to a higher level of professional services income and strong expense management.Save-A-Lot Third quarter Save-A-Lot net sales were $991 million compared to $966 million last year, an increase of 2.6 percent, reflecting the impact from network identical store sales of positive 1.7 percent. Identical store sales for corporate stores within the Save-A-Lot network were positive 5.4 percent. Save-A-Lot operating earnings in the third quarter were $40 million, or 4.1 percent of net sales. Last year’s Save-A-Lot operating earnings in the third quarter were $27 million, or 2.7 percent of net sales, and included $10 million in pre-tax charges primarily related to store closure charges. When adjusted for these charges, Save-A-Lot operating earnings in last year’s third quarter were $37 million, or 3.8 percent of net sales. The increase in Save-A-Lot adjusted operating earnings was primarily attributable to the benefits of cost reduction initiatives.
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