As it advances its merger with Rite Aid, Albertsons posted a first quarter net loss of $17.7 million versus a net loss of $204.9 million in the year-prior period.
Identical store sales increased 0.2% in the quarter year over year. Net sales were $18.65 billion versus $18.46 billion in the year-earlier first quarter. Operating income was $193.1 million compared with $82.4 million in the year-previous period.
Albertsons said it was on track with its integration of Safeway stores, which it acquired as part of a merger in 2014. Highlights of the first quarter, Albertsons asserted, included an increase in own brands by 400 items and a commensurate increase in private label penetration to 24% as well as a 108% increase in e-commerce sales including those of Plated meal kits.
“We are pleased with our first quarter results as both identical sales and adjusted EBITDA increased for the second consecutive quarter,” said Bob Miller, Albertsons chairman and CEO. “We continue to roll out unique options for our customers as we strive to differentiate through our best in class own brands and rapidly expanding e-commerce offerings. We are also reaffirming our fiscal 2018 guidance today and remain on track to deliver annual adjusted EBITDA of $2.7 billion and complete the store conversions related to the Safeway integration by September, which we expect to allow us to further grow and enhance our operating performance.”
Jim Donald, Albertsons president and COO, said, “We are also looking forward to our merger with Rite Aid. Together we will be a differentiated leader in food, health and wellness. We expect to realize $375 million in annual run-rate cost synergies within three years and have the opportunity to generate $3.6 billion in annual sales synergies to fuel our future growth.”