Gross profit margin increased to 27.7% during the first quarter (up from 27.4% in the prior year period), helped by lower advertising costs, improved product mix and lower shrink expense as a percentage of sales compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2017.
Albertsons Cos. reported a net loss was $17.7 million in the quarter, compared to net loss of $204.9 million in the comparable period last year.
“We are pleased with our first quarter results as both identical sales and Adjusted EBITDA increased for the second consecutive quarter,” said Albertsons Cos. chairman and CEO Bob Miller. “We continue to roll out unique options for our customers as we strive to differentiate through our best in class own brands and rapidly expanding e-commerce offerings. We are also reaffirming our fiscal 2018 guidance today and remain on track to deliver annual Adjusted EBITDA of $2.7 billion and complete the store conversions related to the Safeway integration by September, which we expect to allow us to further grow and enhance our operating performance.”
That fiscal guidance does not include the effects of the company planned merger with Rite Aid, which is expected to close early in the second half of calendar year 2018. The deal remains subject to the approval of Rite Aid’s stockholders, who are scheduled to vote on the issue during a special meeting on August 9.
“We are also looking forward to our merger with Rite Aid,” said Albertsons Cos. president and chief operting officer Jim Donald. “Together we will be a differentiated leader in food, health and wellness. We expect to realize $375 million in annual run-rate cost synergies within three years, and have the opportunity to generate $3.6 billion in annual sales synergies to fuel our future growth.”