Albertsons sees improvement in its second quarter

Albertsons saw an uptick in sales and improved operating results as the company emphasizes its digital experience within its second quarter report.

Albertsons saw an uptick in sales and improved operating results as the company emphasizes its digital experience within its second quarter report.

For the quarter ended Sept. 8, revenue totaled $14.02 billion, up 1.4 percent from $13.83 billion a year earlier, Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons said Monday. Identical-store sales edge up 1 percent year over year.

“We are pleased with our second-quarter results, as identical sales grew for the third consecutive quarter and adjusted EBITDA grew over 13 percent in the quarter compared to last year,”Albertsons Cos. Chief Executive Officer Jim Donald said in a statement. “We are energized and enthusiastic about our company and our ability to generate free cash flow and deliver our balance sheet. The team continues to innovate through our digital engagement with customers — in both the four-wall and no-wall environment — through our continued expansion of natural and organic own-brand offerings and through the automation of our distribution centers, which we believe will deliver strong returns going forward.”

Related: Albertsons expands Western Union partnership

Gross profit margin grew 20 basis points to 27.2 percent in the quarter and, excluding fuel sales, increased 40 basis points to 27.4 percent. At the bottom line, Albertsons had a second-quarter net loss of $32.4 million, compared with a $355.2 million net loss in the prior-year period, which included a goodwill impairment charge of $142.3 million.

Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) came in at $548.6 million, or 3.9 percent of sales, for the 2018 second quarter compared with $485.2 million, or 3.5 percent of sales, a year earlier. Albertsons said the 13.1 percent EBITDA increase was by the rise in same-store sales, improved gross profit and cost reduction efforts.

The nation’s second-largest supermarket retailer attributed the revenue gain to increased fuel sales and the uptick in identical-store sales, partially offset by lost sales from the closing of 30 stores during the fiscal 2018 first half.

Related:Albertsons continues to redefine food retail

E-commerce sales, meanwhile, jumped 113 percent versus a year ago, and the company raised its private-brand penetration by 44 basis points to 25 percent.

The company gained a new President and Chief Executive Officer, Jim Donald, in September. Donald’s 47-year retail career began as a trainee in Florida with Publix Supermarkets. He joined Albertsons in 1976, which culminated in his being appointed Vice President of Operations in Arizona.

As of Sept. 8, Albertsons Cos. operated 2,291 retail food and drug stores, including 1,754 pharmacies and 396 fuel centers, plus 23 distribution centers, five Plated fulfillment centers and 20 manufacturing facilities in 35 states and the District of Columbia. The company’s store banners include Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Sav-On, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw's, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos, Haggen and United Express.