Spartan Stores reports 2013 year-end earnings of $27.4M


Grand Rapids-based Spartan Stores' giant grocery bags appear at stores and events throughout the region. Photo via

Spartan Stores (Nasdaq: SPTN) has reported financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013.

Fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA improved 16 percent over the fourth quarter last year, to $29.6 million on a comparable 12-week basis. In fiscal 2012, the fourth quarter included 13 weeks and the year included 53 weeks.

Consolidated net sales for the 12-week fourth quarter increased 4.9 percent to $592.8 million, compared to $565 million last year, excluding net sales in the 53rd week of fiscal 2012, due to increases in both the distribution and retail segments.

Spartan Stores benefitted from the calendar shift, which moved the Easter holiday selling week into the fourth quarter and accounted for approximately 60 basis points of the consolidated sales improvement. Consolidated net sales as reported were $614.8 million in last year’s 13-week quarter, which included $49.8 million in sales related to the extra week.

“We are pleased to report that our business generated comparable store sales growth and achieved better than expected earnings for the fourth quarter,” said Dennis Eidson, Spartan’s president/CEO. “These encouraging results reflect improvement across both our distribution and retail segments, as we gained new customers, continued to refine our promotional and loyalty programs and benefitted from the early Easter holiday. We believe that our value proposition in both segments continued to resonate with customers. We will continue to build on this customer-centric platform in fiscal 2014, as we deepen our customer relationships and improve our long-term performance.”

Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) for the quarter increased 16 percent to $29.6 million, or 5 percent of net sales, compared to $25.6 million, or 4.5 percent of net sales, excluding the estimated impact of the 53rd week last year. Adjusted EBITDA in last year’s fourth quarter was $28 million, or 4.6 percent of net sales, based on reported results including the impact of the extra week.

Adjusted earnings from continuing operations increased $1.3 million, or eight cents per diluted share, to $10.4 million, or 48 cents per diluted share, compared to $9.1 million, or 40 cents per diluted share, last year. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, adjusted earnings from continuing operations excludes an after-tax debt extinguishment charge of $1.7 million associated with the early retirement of a portion of the company's convertible senior notes due 2027 and an after-tax net asset impairment charge of $0.8 million. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, adjusted earnings from continuing operations excludes an after-tax benefit from the 53rd week of $1.4 million.

Reported earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 were $7.9 million, or 36 cents per diluted share, compared to $10.5 million, or 46 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.

Gross profit margin for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 was 22.4 percent compared to 22.2 percent in the fourth quarter of the prior year when adjusted to exclude the 53rd week. The gross profit margin rate increase reflects an improved performance in the company’s retail segment, partially offset by a decrease in the LIFO credit compared to the prior year quarter.

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