business news in context, analysis with attitude

Albertsons yesterday said that its fiscal Q1 sales were $24.1 billion, up from $23.3 billion during the same period a year earlier, driven by a 4.9 percent in crease in same-store sales and digital sales that were up 22 percent.

Membership in Albertsons' loyalty program also was up, 16 percent, to 35.9 million.

Net income, however, was down - $417.2 million during the just-completed first quarter, down from $484.2 million during the same period a year earlier.  This has been typical of many companies during this inflationary period - sales up because prices are higher, but profits are either stagnant or down because retailers are trying to minimize price increases for customers.

In a prepared statement, CEO Vivek Sankaran said, "Our first quarter results demonstrate the resilience of our business, and the effectiveness of our Customers for Life transformation strategy, even as the economic environment has become more challenging. We want to thank all our teams for their commitment to our customers and communities.

"As we look ahead to the balance of the year, we remain focused on driving operational excellence in our stores and continued growth in our digital and pharmacy operations. We will also continue to drive the initiatives supporting our Customers for Life strategy, including delivering on our customer promises, deepening our relationships with them, and serving them where, when and how they want to be served."

Albertsons currently is awaiting a regulatory decision from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on its proposed $24.6 billion acquisition by Kroger, which has been criticized in some quarters as being anti-competitive.  Both Kroger and Albertsons have argued that a merger is necessary to allow them to compete effectively with Walmart.