Arden Group, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter And Fiscal Year Earnings

Arden Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:ARDNA) today released its sales and income figures for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2011.

Arden Group, Inc. is the parent company of Gelson’s Markets which operates seventeen full-service supermarkets in Southern California carrying both perishable and grocery products.

ARDEN GROUP, INC. AND CONSOLIDATED SUBSIDIARIES

FOURTH QUARTER EARNINGS RELEASE
           
 

Thirteen Weeks Ended

Fifty-Two Weeks Ended

December 31,

January 1,

December 31,

January 1,

2011

2011

2011

2011

(In Thousands, Except Share, Per Share & Footnote Data)

(Unaudited)
       
 
Sales (a) $ 114,503 $ 110,020 $ 429,483 $ 417,065
 
Operating income (b) 6,969 9,175 26,122 30,143
 
Interest, dividend and other income (expense), net (c) 63 8 2,301 188
 
Income before income taxes 7,032 9,183 28,423 30,331
 
Income tax provision 2,701 3,632 11,418 12,246
 
Net income $ 4,331 $ 5,551 $ 17,005 $ 18,085
 
Basic and diluted net income per common share (d) $ 1.41 $ 1.75 $ 5.50 $ 5.72
Weighted average common shares outstanding (d) 3,071,000 3,161,098 3,094,020 3,161,098
 

(a) In 2011 and 2010, the Company operated 18 full-service supermarkets in Southern California through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Gelson’s Markets (Gelson’s). Year over year sales increases were due, to a great extent, to both inflation and an increase in the number of transactions in 2011 compared to 2010. Increased sales also reflect improvement in the economic environment in our local trade areas despite intense competition and cautious consumer purchasing behavior.

Gelson’s closed its store located in Northridge, California after the close of business on February 25, 2012. Subject to certain closing conditions, Gelson’s has reached an agreement with the landlord and a third party to assign the lease and to be released by the landlord from all obligations under the lease no later than May 1, 2012. In return, Gelson’s agreed to pay the assignee a lease assignment fee of $1,850,000 and agreed to transfer various items of equipment to the assignee. In addition, Gelson’s expects to incur closing costs estimated to be between $300,000 and $400,000.

(b) Operating income on a year over year basis was negatively impacted by increases in the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) health and welfare contribution rate in March 2010, February 2011 and September 2011. The majority of the Company’s employees belong to the UFCW. During the fourth quarter of 2011, the Company recognized $339,000 and $90,000 of stock appreciation rights (SARs) compensation expense. On a year-to-date basis, the Company recognized SARs compensation expense of $488,000 during 2011 compared to a reversal of $394,000 for 2010. Operating income was also negatively impacted in 2011 due to a ratification bonus of approximately $714,000 paid to Gelson’s employees who are members of the UFCW in accordance with the new labor contract discussed below. In addition, the fourth quarter of 2010 reflects a gain of $570,000 from the early termination of a lease for a property that was not being used in the Company’s supermarket operations.

The Company’s previous collective bargaining agreement with the UFCW expired on March 6, 2011. The UFCW’s contract with the three major grocery retailers in our trade area – Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons grocery chains (Majors) – also expired on the same date. In late September 2011, employees of the Majors ratified a new labor contract. Employees of Gelson’s who are members of the UFCW ratified a new labor contract with Gelson’s on terms similar to those reached by the Majors in a vote held on October 14, 2011. The new labor agreement expires on March 2, 2014.

(c) Other income reflects a gain of approximately $2,129,000 from the sale of an undeveloped parcel of land during the first quarter of 2011.

(d) In April 2011, the Company purchased 90,098 shares of its Class A Common Stock in an unsolicited private transaction for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $6,684,000.

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor for forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of the Company. Certain statements contained in this Current Report on Form 8-K are forward-looking statements. These statements discuss, among other things, a future lease assignment which may or may not be accomplished and certain estimated closing costs. These forward-looking statements reflect the Company’s current plans and expectations and are based on information currently known to the Company. The Company cautions readers that any forward-looking statements contained in this Current Report involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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