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Thrifty shoppers cut into SuperValu’s first-quarter profits

Grocery shoppers are still insisting on bargains, and that helped spoil SuperValu‘s first-quarter profits.

The company’s net earnings were down about 30 percent from a year ago to $113 million. SuperValu CEO Craig Herkert attributed the decline to both fewer sales and smaller margins on its products.

“[O]ur first quarter results reflected the continuing difficult economic environment as well as investments we are making in price and higher levels of promotional spending,” Herkert said in the company’s statement.

SuperValu isn’t betting conditions will improve anytime soon. “We anticipate no near-term change in consumer spending patterns and we will operate our business accordingly.”

Also: The company said today that it’s selling off 36 of its Albertsons grocery stores in Utah to Associated Food Stores.

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