Supervalu trims operations, grows profit
NEW YORK — Shares of Supervalu rose Thursday after the grocery store operator reported a higher quarterly profit less than a year after trimming its operations.
The Minneapolis-based company had sold five of its chains — including Albertson’s and Jewel-Osco — to focus on SaveA-Lot and smaller regional chains amid intensifying competition in the supermarket industry.
At Save-A-Lot stores open at least a year, the company said sales rose 1.7 percent during the period and cost-cutting helped boost operating earnings.
For the period ending Nov. 30, the company says it earned 31 million, or 12 cents per share. That’s compared with $16 million, or 8 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding one-time items, Supervalu Inc. said it earned 13 cents per share. That was a penny shy of Wall Street estimates, according to FactSet.
Ky. Distillers’ Association selects new chairman
FRANKFORT, Ky. — An executive at Heaven Hill Distilleries has become chairman of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.
The group says Joe Fraser will serve in the position through December of this year.
Fraser is vice president of operations at Heaven Hill.
Fraser says he’s assuming the position at a time when the bourbon and distilled spirits industry is in the midst of unprecedented growth. But he says the industry faces challenges that include tax and trade issues.
The KDA’s board of directors selected officers during its recent annual meeting.
The KDA says Kentucky produces 95 percent of the world’s bourbon, and the 4.9 million barrels of aging bourbon in this state outnumber the population here.
Retailers of all stripes singing holiday blues
NEW YORK — Several major retailers slashed their fiscal fourth-quarter profit forecasts this week in the latest sign that Americans didn’t spend briskly during the holiday season.
American Eagle Outfitters and Bed Bath & Beyond are among seven retail chains that have cut their expectations for their fiscal fourth quarter, which includes the holiday shopping season.
During the holidays, many Americans were contending with the effects of a shaky economic recovery. Snowstorms across the country also kept some shoppers home. And the season was six days shorter, which meant less time to shop.
Retailers discounted early and often to attract shoppers. The discounts got people to spend, but the price cuts ate away at retailers’ profits.
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