MINNEAPOLIS (AP) ¿ Food distributor Nash Finch Co. said Monday its first-quarter profit climbed 36 percent as sales improved on acquisitions. Net income increased to $14.4 million, or $1.08 per share, from $10.6 million, or 80 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. Sales grew 14 percent to $1.14 billion from $1 billion, mostly due to the January acquisition of three military distribution centers from GSC Enterprises Inc. Nash Finch said its sales were hurt by a shift in the Easter holiday. Same-store sales rose 3.2 percent, excluding the Easter shift and the acquisitions. Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, are a key indicator of retailer performance since they measure growth at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.
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