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AMERICAN STORES CO. ANNOUNCES SECOND QUARTER SALES AND EARNINGS

 AMERICAN STORES CO. ANNOUNCES SECOND QUARTER SALES AND EARNINGS
 SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- American Stores Co. (NYSE: ASC) today announced 1992 second quarter net earnings of $50.6 million or $0.72 per common share vs. earnings before non- recurring items of $0.69 per common share in 1991. The second quarter of 1991 reported net earnings were $116.4 million or $1.68 per common share, including a net non-recurring gain of $0.99 per common share, primarily from the sale of Alpha Beta Co. Earnings before non-recurring items for the 26 weeks year-to-date ended Aug. 1, 1992, were $1.20 per common share vs. $1.21 in 1991. Net earnings for the 26 weeks amounted to $69.8 million or $1.00 per common share, which includes a loss of approximately $0.20 per common share, principally on the sale of 74 Jewel Osco combination food and drug stores to Albertson's Inc. Reported net earnings year-to-date in 1991 were $111.6 million or $1.61 per common share, which includes the net non-recurring gain of $0.99 per common share and a non- recurring charge for the cumulative effect of a change in accounting for postretirement health care benefits of $0.59 per common share.
 Total sales were $4.7 billion for the second quarter and $9.6 billion for the year-to-date period. Second quarter like store sales decreased less than 1 percent, while year-to-date like store sales were flat.
 Victor L. Lund, president and chief executive officer of American Stores Co. stated, "I am very pleased with our results, which were achieved in spite of the soft economy and non-existent food inflation. We have maintained our operating profit by implementing outstanding cost containment programs and improved our net earnings by continuing to reduce our interest expenses." He went on, "I am particularly encouraged with American Drug Stores' results. Their sales momentum and expense control efforts reinforce the advantage of having a diverse portfolio of food and drug stores." Results at Jewel Companies Inc. were impacted by strong promotional activities aimed at maintaining market share and a $6 million year-to-date charge associated with consolidation of the management information systems and accounting functions of the three eastern grocery companies. The cost savings anticipated because of these consolidation activities will begin to positively impact earnings in fiscal 1994.
 Lund continued, "We maintain a positive outlook for the remainder of the year. However, the degree of our optimism will depend on the extent of the general economic recovery."
 American Stores Co. operates retail stores through three regional companies:
 -- Jewel Companies Inc., which operates Acme Markets Inc., the market leader in Philadelphia; Jewel Food Stores Inc., the market leader in the Chicago area; and Star Market, one of Boston's leading food retailers;
 -- Lucky Stores Inc., California's leading food retailer with grocery and combination stores throughout the state; and
 -- American Drug Stores Inc., which operates Osco Drug, the Chicago area's market leader, and Sav-on, the market leader in the greater Los Angeles market.
 For the 26 weeks year-to-date, the company opened 11 stores, acquired 63 CVS drug stores and acquired the rights to operate 22 CVS health and beauty aid stores, sold 74 Jewel Osco stores, closed 20 stores and remodeled 34 stores. At Aug. 1, 1992, Lucky Stores Inc. operated 430 stores; Jewel Companies Inc. operated 494 stores; and American Drug Stores Inc. operated 698 stores, including the drug side of 143 jointly operated Jewel Osco combination stores. The Southwest Region operated eight combination stores and three drug stores.
 AMERICAN STORES CO.
 Financial Highlights
 (Amounts in thousands except per share data)
 (Unaudited)
 Like Stores 13 Weeks 13 Weeks
 Percent Ended Ended
 Change Aug. 1, Aug. 3,
 1992 1991
 Sales:
 Jewel Companies Inc. (0.32 pct.) $1,866,248 $1,886,107
 Lucky Stores Inc. (2.21 pct.) 1,807,027 1,797,757
 American Drug Stores Inc. 1.81 pct. 962,839 908,966
 Other 66,433 66,201
 Comparable (0.65 pct.) 4,702,547 4,659,031
 Disposed of stores 0 596,339
 Total sales $4,702,547 $5,255,370
 Operating Profits:
 Jewel Companies Inc. $61,883 $76,340
 Lucky Stores Inc. 64,330 62,126
 American Drug Stores Inc. 52,625 44,654
 LIFO (15,000) (21,500)
 Purchase accounting amortization (17,826) (17,931)
 Other 6,076 7,886
 Comparable 152,088 151,575
 Disposed of stores 0 4,881
 Total operating profits 152,088 156,456
 Interest expense (52,999) (66,451)
 (Losses) gains on asset sales, other (1,657) 115,855
 Earnings before income taxes 97,432 205,860
 Federal & state income taxes (46,850) (89,508)
 Net earnings $50,582 $116,352
 Average common shares outstanding 69,978 69,163(a)
 Net earnings per common share $0.72 $1.68(a)(b)
 Dividends per common share $0.175 $0.14(a)
 (a) Reflects the 2-for-1 stock split on July 16, 1991.
 (b) Earnings before the net non-recurring gain, primarily from the sale of Alpha Beta Co., were $0.69 per common share for the second quarter of 1991.
 AMERICAN STORES CO.
 Financial Highlights
 (Amounts in thousands except per share data)
 (Unaudited)
 Like Stores 26 Weeks 26 Weeks
 Percent Ended Ended
 Change Aug. 1, Aug. 3,
 1992 1991
 Sales:
 Jewel Companies Inc. 0.11 pct. $3,728,879 $3,748,410
 Lucky Stores Inc. (1.66 pct.) 3,597,242 3,543,115
 American Drug Stores Inc. 3.22 pct. 1,915,138 1,785,259
 Other 128,465 131,527
 Comparable (0.03 pct.) 9,369,724 9,208,311
 Disposed of stores 256,897 1,458,642
 Total sales $9,626,621 $10,666,953
 Operating Profits:
 Jewel Companies Inc. $114,063 $129,517
 Lucky Stores Inc. 133,734 129,756
 American Drug Stores Inc. 93,965 84,243
 LIFO (30,000) (40,000)
 Purchase accounting amortization (35,655) (36,074)
 Other 12,760 16,468
 Comparable 288,867 283,910
 Disposed of stores (14,455) 16,253
 Total operating profits 274,412 300,163
 Interest expense (111,433) (140,138)
 (Losses) gains on asset sales, other (28,218) 115,677
 Earnings before income taxes and before
 cumulative effect of a change in
 accounting principle 134,761 275,702
 Federal & state income taxes (64,955) (123,353)
 Earnings before cumulative effect of a
 change in accounting principle 69,806 152,349
 Cumulative effect of a change in
 accounting principle
 Postretirement health care benefits --- (40,734)
 Net earnings $69,806 $111,615
 Average common shares outstanding 69,637 69,155(a)
 Earnings per common share before
 cumulative effect of a change in
 accounting principle $1.00(b) $2.20(a)(b)
 Cumulative effect of a change in
 accounting principle
 Postretirement health care benefits --- (0.59)(a)
 Net earnings per common share $1.00 $1.61(a)
 Dividends per common share $0.35 $0.28(a)
 (a) Reflects the 2-for-1 stock split on July 16, 1991.
 (b) Earnings before the net non-recurring loss, principally on the sale of 74 Jewel Osco stores, were $1.20 per common share in 1992. Earnings before the net non-recurring gain, primarily from the sale of Alpha Beta Co., were $1.21 per common share in 1991.
 AMERICAN STORES CO.
 Operational Overview
 (Amounts in thousands)
 (Unaudited)
 Like 13 Weeks Ended
 Store Aug. 1, Aug. 3,
 Sales 1992 1991
 Jewel Companies Inc.
 Sales (0.32 pct.) 1,866,248 1,886,107
 Gross profit 465,668 470,504
 Percent sales 24.95 pct. 24.95 pct.
 Operating expenses 403,785 394,164
 Percent sales 21.64 pct. 20.90 pct.
 Operating profit 61,883 76,340
 Percent sales 3.32 pct. 4.05 pct.
 Lucky Stores Inc.
 Sales (2.21 pct.) 1,807,027 1,797,757
 Gross profit 479,979 447,875
 Percent sales 26.56 pct. 24.91 pct.
 Operating expenses 415,649 385,749
 Percent sales 23.00 pct. 21.46 pct.
 Operating profit 64,330 62,126
 Percent sales 3.56 pct. 3.46 pct.
 American Drug Stores Inc.
 Sales 1.81 pct. 962,839 908,966
 Gross profit 282,450 257,697
 Percent sales 29.34 pct. 28.35 pct.
 Operating expenses 229,825 213,043
 Percent sales 23.87 pct. 23.44 pct.
 Operating profit 52,625 44,654
 Percent sales 5.47 pct. 4.91 pct.
 Like 26 Weeks Ended
 Store Aug. 1, Aug. 3,
 Sales 1992 1991
 Jewel Companies Inc.
 Sales 0.11 pct. 3,728,879 3,748,410
 Gross profit 913,297 915,494
 Percent sales 24.49 pct. 24.42 pct.
 Operating expenses 799,234 785,977
 Percent sales 21.43 pct. 20.97 pct.
 Operating profit 114,063 129,517
 Percent sales 3.06 pct. 3.46 pct.
 Lucky Stores Inc.
 Sales (1.66 pct.) 3,597,242 3,543,115
 Gross profit 948,660 886,053
 Percent sales 26.37 pct. 25.01 pct.
 Operating expenses 814,926 756,297
 Percent sales 22.65 pct. 21.35 pct.
 Operating profit 133,734 129,756
 Percent sales 3.72 pct. 3.66 pct.
 American Drug Stores Inc.
 Sales 3.22 pct. 1,915,138 1,785,259
 Gross profit 551,820 507,671
 Percent sales 28.81 pct. 28.44 pct.
 Operating expenses 457,855 423,428
 Percent sales 23.91 pct. 23.72 pct.
 Operating profit 93,965 84,243
 Percent sales 4.91 pct. 4.72 pct.
 -0- 8/27/92
 /CONTACT: Cal Drecksel, VP-investor relations, American Stores Co., 801-539-0112/
 (ASC) CO: American Stores Co. ST: Utah IN: REA SU: ERN


KJ-LS -- LA011 -- 3745 08/27/92 06:01 EDT
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