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Albertsons posts strong sales gains in Q1


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BOISE, Idaho – Albertsons Cos. reported net income of $586 million in its first quarter, with pandemic-related demand pushing up identical-store sales by 26.5%, the company said Monday.

Digital sales increased 276% in the 16 weeks to June 20, as more shoppers sought to stock up on food and essentials from the safety of their homes.

Albertsons had revenue of $22.8 billion in the quarter, a year-on-year increase of 21.4%. Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) increased 93% from a year earlier, to $1.7 billion.

Vivek Sankaran, president and chief executive officer, said the first-quarter financial performance was made possible by employees’ “hard work and dedication” during a pandemic.

Albertsons said it allocated $615 million in pandemic-related measures aimed at supporting and protecting front-line workers. Included in that sum is more than $275 million in “appreciation pay” and $53 million for hunger relief in communities in which Albertsons operates.

“We generated strong financial performance in the first quarter, including robust cash flow and enhanced liquidity, which support our continued investment to benefit our associates, customers, communities and stockholders,” Sankaran said in a statement.

Albertsons said it invested $402 million in the first quarter on a range of capital projects that included investments in strategic technology, digital commerce and remodeling projects at 46 locations.

During the quarter Albertsons began selling common stock through the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker ACI. The initial public offering netted $800 million from the sale of 50 million shares, priced at $16 per share, below its $18 to $20 target range.

The retailer declined to offer financial guidance, citing uncertainties surrounding the pandemic.

Albertsons operates in 34 states under several different brand names including Albertsons, Safeway, and Acme. As of June 20, the company had over 2,250 retail supermarkets and drugstores, with 1,726 pharmacies and 402 associated gasoline