Smart & Final Comps Gain In Q1

For the first quarter, which ended shortly before Smart & Final announced its acquisition by Apollo Global Management, the retailer reported a comparable store sales gain. 

Comparable sales gained 2.2% in the first quarter year over year, with the figure comprised of a 1.7% increase in comparable average transaction size, and a 0.4% increase in comparable transaction count.

Net sales advanced 2.8% to $1.04 billion verus the year-previous quarter. Income from operations was $1.3 million versus a loss from operations of $1.2 million in the year-prior quarter.

The retailer reported a net loss of $6.7 million, or nine cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 24, versus a net loss of $7.1 million, or 10 cents per share, for the same period of 2018. Adjusted net loss, excluding one-time items, was $3.3 million, or four cents per share, as compared to an adjusted net loss of $2.8 million, or four cents per share, for the 2018 quarter.

“We had a strong start to the year, with sales growth of 2.8% despite a challenging operating environment characterized by low product price inflation and severe weather in many of our market areas,” said David Hirz, Smart & Final president and CEO. “Our comparable store sales growth of 2.2% highlights the value of our differentiated store banners focused on both business and household customers, growth of our private label offerings, our unique warehouse and club-pack assortments, and the success of our ongoing customer service initiatives. We remain dedicated to enhancing our customers’ shopping experience both in-store and online through our investment in innovative new technology and merchandising programs. On April 16, 2019, we announced an agreement to be acquired by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management. The proposed transaction, which is supported by our majority shareholder, is a testament to the strength of our franchise and the talent and expertise of our associates.”