Feb 21 Safeway Inc, the second-largest
U.S. supermarket chain, on Thursday reported higher profit,
helped by its new shopper loyalty programs.
The operator of supermarkets such as Safeway, Vons and
Dominick's said fourth-quarter income from continuing operations
was $244 million, or $1.06 per share, up from $215.6 million, or
67 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding gains from legal settlements, the company earned
94 cents per share in the latest quarter.
Quarterly sales $13.77 billion from $13.60 billion a year
ago. Closely watched identical-store sales, excluding fuel, were
up 0.8 percent.
Safeway has been rolling out grocery and gasoline loyalty
programs to attract customers and boost sales. Traditional
grocers such as Safeway and Kroger Co face tough
competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc and other retailers
and are fighting for every sale.