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ALBERTSONS REPORTS $71.5 MILLION IN NET EARNINGS IN 3RD QUARTER

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Albertsons Inc. announced net earnings for the third fiscal quarter ended Oct. 29 of $71.5 million or 54 cents per share, up 20.1 percent from the $59.5 million or 45 cents per share for the same period last year.

Sales were $2.6 billion, up 21.4 percent over the same quarter last year. Identical store sales increased 3.1 percent.Both earnings and sales were record highs for the Boise-based supermarket chain that has major operations in Utah.

Sales for the 39 weeks ended Oct. 29 were $7.5 billion, up 15.5 percent over the first three quarters of 1991. Identical store sales increased 1.0 percent. Net earnings were $163.5 million, down from $176.9 million last year. Earnings per share were $1.24 for the first 39 weeks, down from $1.33 for the same period last year.

The company said results for the 39 weeks include one-time costs associated with the Jewel Osco acquisition in April and accounting adjustments, all of which were recognized in the first quarter. Excluding these items, net earnings for the first 39 weeks would have been $201.4 million, or $1.52 per share.

During the quarter, eight stores were opened for a total of 91 store openings for the 39-week period.