Limiting price increases hurt earnings at supermarket company Stater Bros. Holdings Inc.
The San Bernardino grocery company, the largest independent supermarket chain in Southern California, said earnings fell 68% to $3.5 million in its first quarter ended Dec. 28.
Sales rose 2% to $959 million compared with the same period a year earlier. Same-store sales, an important measure of a retailer's health, rose 1.4%.
"Our plan is to assist our customers during these very tough economic times," said Jack Brown, chief executive of the 165-store chain, "and the plan is working."