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.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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