Boise grocery giant Albertsons Companies turned in another strong quarter – with continued strong growth in sales, as well as an increase in its profit margin.
The company also announced it would pay a dividend to shareholders for the first time.
For the company’s third quarter, which ended on December 5th, revenue topped $15.1 billion, up from $14.1 billion in the same timeframe the previous year according to the company. EBITDA – how much the company made before the costs of interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization – topped $967.7 million, up from $634.4 million last year – an increase of 53%.
“Our constant focus on our customers continued to drive strong growth and market share gains in the third quarter,” company CEO Vivek Sankaran said in a statement. “It is clear that our strategy is working, and as we continue to execute on our strategic priorities, we believe we are well-positioned to deliver sustainable growth over the long term. At the same time, we remain focused on delivering value to all stakeholders, including taking care of our customers, associates, and the communities we serve as we continue to navigate through the pandemic.”
During an interview with BoiseDev in November, Sankaran said his company would focus on improving performance.
“We will keep delivering great numbers so that (investors) realize that we are not only performing better but that we are winning in the marketplace. We’re gaining share, and that we can consistently gain share because we’re doing things better, and have a better solution for that customer.”
Sales improve at stores
The improved third-quarter results came primarily from a large increase in sales from so-called “identical” stores – those that have been open for at least a year. Overall those stores saw a 12.5% increase in sales. Sales were tempered somewhat by a decrease in fuel sales.
Albertsons runs stores under its own name, as well as Safeway, Carrs, Acme, Jewel, Vons, and others.
For the first three-quarters of the fiscal year, Albertsons said it took in $53.9 billion in total sales, compared to $47 billion the year before – an increase of 18.1%.
The company said it remodeled 225 stores and made significant investments in its digital and technology programs. As of the end of the quarter, it operated 2,253 stores, closing seven stores since the same period a year ago.
Separately, the company said its board of directors approved a dividend for shareholders. It will pay $0.10 per share on February 10th to shareholders on record as of January 26th.