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Albertsons yesterday released its Q4 and fiscal 2022 results, saying that same-store sales for the fourth quarter were up 5.6 percent and digital sales were up 16 percent, while annual same-store sales were up 6.9 percent and digital sales were up 28 percent.

That said, profits and margins were down, reflecting both higher costs and inflationary pressures.

Albertsons said that Q4 total sales rose five percent to $18.27 billion, while Q4 profit was $311.1 million, down from $455.1 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Full year sales were $77.6 billion, up from $71.9 billion a year ago, while profit was $1.5 billion, down from $1.6 billion a year earlier.

Albertsons also noted that membership in its loyalty program increased 15 percent during Q4, to more than 34 million people.

Vivek Sankaran, Albertsons' CEO, cautioned that "as we look ahead to fiscal 2023, we believe … that the economic backdrop is uncertain and is likely to be more challenging later in the year. We have prepared our business for a more difficult consumer environment, and are expecting significant labor investments and inflationary cost increases. Additionally, we expect further declines in COVID-19 vaccination and at-home test kit revenue."

The coming year also will see continuing efforts by Albertsons and Kroger to complete their proposed merger by persuading the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it is not anti-competitive and will be good for consumers.