Unified Grocers this week announced improved sales and earnings for the 26 and 13 weeks ended March 29, the company’s second quarter of fiscal 2014.
For the 26-week period, the Los Angeles-based distributor reported gross billings of $1.898 billion, compared to gross billings of $1.838 billion for the 26 weeks ended March 30, 2013, a 3.3 percent increase. The company had net sales of $1.848 billion for the 2014 period compared to net sales of $1.823 billion for the 2013 period. Unified achieved earnings of $6.3 million before estimated patronage dividends and income taxes, compared to a loss of $2.4 million in the 2013 period. This carried through to net earnings, where the company improved $5.7 million to $1.1 million for the 2014 period compared to a net loss of $4.6 million for the 2013 period.
For the 13-week quarter, the company reported gross billings of $919.3 million compared to $885.1 million for the 13 weeks ended March 30, 2013, a 3.9 percent increase.
Unified reported sales growth in the quarter despite the Easter/Passover holiday shifted to Unified’s third fiscal quarter. Unified had net sales of $893.6 million in the 2014 quarter compared to $877.0 million in the 2013 quarter. The improvement in sales carried through to net earnings, where the company improved $2.9 million to a net loss of $1.7 million in the 2014 quarter compared to a net loss of $4.6 million in the 2013 quarter.
“We are extremely pleased with our second quarter results, especially the growth in sales,” said Bob Ling, president and and CEO. “Although the Easter/Passover holiday occurred later than usual, we saw continued improvement across all of our business units. The growth in our sales activity began in the second half of fiscal 2013 and the momentum we have established is a validation of our long-term strategy to turn around the business.
“I am very optimistic about the direction we are going,” he added. “It has been a real team effort to deliver a very good first half of the fiscal year, and I am proud of our associates who continue to focus on growing the business profitably for Unified and our owners.”