SUPERVALU Inc. (NYSE:SVU) Q2 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Mar 09, 2015 • 05:00 pm ET

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SUPERVALU Inc. (NYSE:SVU) Q2 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning. My name is Ginger and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the SUPERVALU Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks there will be a question-and-answer session [Operator Instructions].

Thank you. Mr. Steve Bloomquist, Vice President of Investor Relations, you may begin your conference.

Executive
Steve Bloomquist

Thank you, and good morning, everyone. I want to welcome you all to SUPERVALU's second quarter fiscal 2015 earnings conference call. Joining me today are Sam Duncan, Chief Executive Officer and President; and Bruce Besanko, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Following prepared remarks, we'll open up the call for your questions. So that we can accommodate as many people as possible, I would ask you to limit yourself to one question with one follow-up. The information presented and discussed today includes forward-looking statements, which are made under the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

The risks and uncertainties related to such statements are detailed in our most recent 10-K filing. A replay of today's call will be available on our corporate web site at www.supervalu.com. With that, let me now turn the call over to Sam.

Executive
Sam Duncan

Thanks, Steve. And let me welcome everyone to SUPERVALU's second quarter conference call. This morning we reported second quarter sales of $4.02 billion, up 1.8% compared to last year's second quarter. Net earnings from continuing operations were $0.11 per diluted share and adjusted EBITDA was $161 million, in-line with our operating plan. I am generally pleased with our overall performance in the quarter as we build on the momentum from last year which has continued through the first 28 weeks of fiscal '15.

Our Save-A-Lot segment continues to generate strong top line growth as network ID sales were positive 6.5% and ID sales for corporate stores within the Save-A-Lot network were positive 8.2%, a great performance all around. In our Retail Food segment, identical store sales were a positive 0.4% this quarter, in-line with our first quarter performance and the third consecutive quarter of positive ID sales. Sales in our Independent Business were down 1.1% on a year-over-year basis which represented a 150 basis point sequential improvement from the 2.6% decline in Q1.

Midway through fiscal '15 the year has unfolded largely as we expected it would, and our expectations for the full year have not changed. Let me move to our business segments starting with Save-A-Lot where network identical store sales were strong again, a positive 6.5% compared to last year's second quarter. Identical store sales for corporate stores within the Save-A-Lot network were positive 8.2% as customer counts increased 6.4% and basket size was up 1.8%, as compared with last year's second quarter.

Also, purchases by licensees have continued to build over the past five quarters and were positive 5.2% in the second quarter. Second quarter adjusted operating earnings declined $11 million year-over-year, primarily due