Winter shoppers helped Giant boost revenue

March 30, 1994|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Sun Staff Writer

Giant Food Inc. said yesterday that consumers who stockpiled food during the terrible winter weather helped boost sales in the latest quarter, but that their preference for bulk items, which carry lower profit margins, led to a decline in earnings.

The Landover-based grocery chain said sales rose 4.2 percent to $1.16 billion during the 16 weeks that ended Feb. 26.

Jeff Metzger, publisher of the Columbia-based trade journal Food World, said Giant's results were quite respectable.

"There was some compromise, but the earnings were still very strong," he said.

Giant stock fell yesterday 62.5 cents to close at $25.25 a share. The earnings report was released after the stock market closed.

Giant, the largest grocery chain in the Baltimore-Washington area, reported net income of $36.3 million, or 61 cents a share, during the fiscal fourth quarter compared with $36.7 million, or 62 cents a share, for the same period a year ago.

For the full year, net income jumped 16.8 percent, aided by a gain of $3.9 million, or 7 cents a share, for changes in accounting for income taxes. Without the one-time gain, net income increased 12 percent to $91.3 million, or $1.53 a share.

David B. Sykes, Giant's senior vice president for finance, said the reduction in fourth-quarter profits came from more customers buying "Super Deals" bulk products.

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Giant Food Inc.

.. .. .. .. .. ..Ticker.. .. .. .. .. ..Yesterday's

.. .. .. .. .. ..Symbol .. .. .. .. .. ..Cls.. ..Chg.

.. .. .. .. .. ..GFS/A .. .. .. .. .. .. 25 1/4 .... ..- 5/8

Period ended 2/26/94

.. .. .. .. ..4th qtr.. .. .. .. ..Year ago .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Chg.

Revenue .. .. ..$1,159,105 .. .. .. $1,112,428 .. .. .. .. .. ..+4.2%

Net Income .. ..$36,297 .. .. .. .. $36,688 .. .. .. .. .. .. ..-1.1%

Primary EPS .. .$0.61 .. .. .. .. ..$0.62 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .-1.6%

.. .. .. .. .. ..12 mos. .. .. .. .. Year ago .. .. .. .. .. .. ..Chg.

Revenue .. .. .. $3,567,468.. .. .. $3,472,581 .. .. .. .. .. ..+2.7%

Net Income .. .. ..$95,231* .. .. .. $81,506 .. .. .. .. .. .. ..+16.8%

Primary EPS .. .. ..$1.60* .. .. .. ..$1.37 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. +16.8%

* Includes a gain of $3.9 million, or 7 cents a share, for changes in accounting for income taxes.

Figures in thousands (except per share data.)

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