BOISE, Idaho —
Albertsons Cos. posted an identical store sales increase of 47% for the first
four weeks of fiscal 2020, the company said on Thursday. Quarter-to-date
identical sales for the first eight weeks of fiscal 2020 increased 34% compared
to the comparable prior year period.
Albertsons reported its first quarter sales-to-date as part of an
announcement of its fiscal 2019 fourth quarter and full year results. For
fiscal 2019 the company reported identical sales growth of 2.1%, digital sales
growth of 39%, net income of $466 million and adjusted EBITDA of $2.83 billion.
“We are pleased that our
momentum continued as we closed fiscal 2019, with improved performance on the
top and bottom line,” Albertsons president and
CEO Vivek Sankaran said in a statement. “However, the world has
changed since then, and we are heavily focused on supporting our associates,
our customers and the communities we serve as we respond to the increased
demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are so proud of the efforts of our store, distribution and
manufacturing teams, whose work has been heroic in the face of this crisis, and
we thank them for everything they continue to do. Both our stores and our
online business are seeing significantly increased demand as consumers shift to
Sales and other revenue totaled $15.4 billion
for the 13 weeks ended February 29. That’s a 10.1% increase compared to the
12-week prior year period, and the company said the sales increase was mainly
due to the extra week in this year’s quarter, which accounted for about $1.1
billion of the gain. Albertsons also posted a 1.8% increase in identical sales for
the quarter, which was partially offset by a reduction in sales related to
store closures. That 1.8% increase in identical sales was negatively impacted
by the timing of 2019’s Thanksgiving holiday, which cut about 30 basis points
from the increase.
Gross profit margin decreased to 28.6% during
the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to 29.0% during the fourth quarter
of fiscal 2018. Excluding the impact of fuel, gross profit margin decreased 20
basis points. The decrease was mainly due to incremental rent expense related
to the company’s previously completed sale leaseback transactions of certain
distribution centers, selective investments in price and promotions and a less
favorable LIFO adjustment compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.
Selling and administrative expenses decreased to
26.5% of sales during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, down from 26.9% of
sales in the prior year period. That decline was mainly due to lower
depreciation and amortization expense, lower acquisition and integration-related
costs, and lower employee-related costs as a percentage of sales, partially
offset by investments in strategic digital and technology initiatives and
higher rent expense related to previously completed sale leaseback
Net income was $67.8 million during the fourth
quarter of fiscal 2019 compared to net income of $135.6 million during the
fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company’s
plan for fiscal 2020 called for identical sales of 2.0%, adjusted EBITDA of
$2.875 billion, operating income of $1.3 billion and capital expenditures of
$1.5 billion. While it is of course unable to predict the course of the
COVID-19 pandemic or what effect that will have on its results, Albertsons said
that its sales performance so far in the first quarter of fiscal 2020 suggests
it could meet or exceed those goals.
fiscal 2019 with 2,252 retail stores (1,726 of them with pharmacies), 402
associated fuel centers, 23 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing