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SUPERVALU REPORTS RECORD THIRD QUARTER OPERATING RESULTS

 MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE: SVU) today reported record operating results for both its 12-week third quarter and 40-week year-to-date periods ended Dec. 6, 1992. Results include Wetterau, Incorporated since the acquisition of the St. Louis- based food wholesaler and retailer. The acquisition was effective Oct. 31, 1992, and was accounted for as a purchase.
 Sales for the quarter, including four weeks of Wetterau operations, were $2.96 billion, an increase of 20 percent, compared with last year's sales of $2.47 billion. Sales would have increased approximately 1.5 percent without the Wetterau acquisition. Earnings for the quarter were $36.7 million versus last year's $33.1 million, excluding the $51.3 million gain on the October 1991 partial divestiture of ShopKo Stores, Inc. Earnings per share were $.51 this year compared with $.44 before the ShopKo gain, and $1.12 including the ShopKo gain. Earnings growth did not keep pace with sales growth because of the higher interest expenses and amortization of goodwill and fixed asset write-ups related to the acquisition.
 Year-to-date sales were $8.7 billion this year, up 8.9 percent over the $8.0 billion reported last year. Sales increased 3.2 percent before taking the Wetterau acquisition into account. Net earnings were $114.6 million, or $1.61 per share compared with last year's $146.8 million or $1.95 per share, which included the ShopKo gain and a charge of $13.3 million, or $.18 per share, for the adoption of SFAS No. 106 covering post-retirement health benefits. After adjusting last year's results for these two items and the changed ownership percentage in ShopKo, year-to-date earnings would have increased about 15 percent.
 Mike Wright, chairman and CEO, commented, "The quarter's results were extremely gratifying considering the very difficult sales environment experienced throughout the supermarket industry. Operating results improved in both the food wholesaling and retail segments, plus we enjoyed a small contribution from the Wetterau acquisition."
 For segment purposes, Wetterau's wholesale, Save-A-Lot and manufacturing businesses are included within food distribution. Sales growth for the quarter in this segment was due entirely to the Wetterau acquisition as the weak economic climate and lethargic consumer spending have led to significant changes in the sale mix. Operating contribution improved because of the acquisition and tight expense control. Development activities by the company on behalf of its independent retailers is on target for gross additions of $600 million in additional sales.
 The company's retail food segment showed significant growth in both sales and operating contribution. The sales growth was due to new store openings and the Wetterau and Scott's acquisitions; earnings increased due to the improvement in Cub Foods store results and the acquisitions. The combined companies opened three stores and completed renovations on 22 stores during the quarter. At quarter end, the company operated 267 retail stores principally under the names Cub Foods, Laneco, Shop n'Save and Scott's. In addition, the company ended the quarter with 346 Save-A-Lot stores, 63 corporately owned, which are accounted for in food distribution.
 The Wetterau acquisition was financed initially through the issuance of approximately $700 million of commercial paper, which was subsequently refunded via the issuance of notes and bonds in the amount of $700 million. The revolving credit agreement established to provide back-up for the issuance of commercial paper has been reduced from $1.1 billion to $550 million.
 Borrowing related to the Wetterau acquisition increased interest expense $3.2 million for the quarter. In addition, the company incurred $1.4 million in charges for amortization of goodwill and fixed asset write-ups related to the acquisition.
 Subsequent to the acquisition, the three Save n'Pack Stores in Tampa, Fla., owned by Wetterau were sold to another retailer and Wetterau's Kansas City, Mo., distribution center was announced to be closed effective February 1993. Neither transaction will have an income statement effect; however, both will generate a modest positive cash flow.
 SUPERVALU INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
 (In thousands, except per share data)
 Third Quarter Year-To-Date
 (12 weeks) Ended (40 weeks) Ended
 12/5/92 11/30/91 12/5/92 11/30/91
 Net sales $2,960,400 $2,471,400 $8,714,263 $8,003,577
 Earnings before
 income taxes, gain
 on sale of ShopKo
 stock and cumulative
 effect of change in
 accounting principal 56,461 49,587 179,281 165,775
 Gain on sale of ShopKo
 stock -- 84,105 -- 84,105
 Earnings before income
 taxes and cumulative effect
 of change in accounting
 principle 56,461 133,692 179,281 249,880
 Provision for income
 taxes 19,735 49,268 64,704 89,759
 Earnings before cumulative
 effect of change in
 accounting principle 36,726 84,424 114,577 160,121
 Cumulative effect of
 change in accounting
 principle -- -- -- (13,288)
 Net earnings $36,726 $84,424 $114,577 $146,833
 Net earnings per common share:
 Earnings per common share
 before cumulative effect
 of change in accounting
 principle $.51 $1.12 $1.61 $2.13
 Cumulative effect of change
 in accounting principle -- -- -- (.18)
 Net earnings per common
 share $.51 $1.12 $1.61 $1.95
 Weighted average number
 of common shares
 outstanding 71,393 75,250 71,383 75,261
 Dividends declared per
 common share $.195 $.180 $.570 $.525
 Supplemental information:
 After-tax LIFO expense
 (income) $657 $100 $(1,632) $(695)
 -0- 12/18/92
 /CONTACT: Jeff Girard of SUPERVALU, 612-828-4028/
 (SVU)


CO: SUPERVALU INC. ST: Minnesota IN: REA SU: ERN

KH -- MN003 -- 8118 12/18/92 10:22 EST
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Date:Dec 18, 1992
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