Reported net earnings for fiscal year 2002 increased 15.6% to $579 million before the effect of an accounting change, versus $501 million on the same basis in the year before. For the quarter, reported net earnings totaled $205 million versus $290 million in 2001’s fourth quarter. Reported net earnings, including the accounting change and one-time items, totaled $485 million for the year, 3% lower than the $501 million in the year earlier on the same basis.
Sales for the year totaled $35.6 billion, 2.7% lower than the prior year, reflecting the impact of the company’s planned restructuring program. During the year, Albertson’s completed the sale or closure of 226 unprofitable or non-strategic stores. Since the firm began its major restructuring program in April 2001, it has closed or sold 441 unprofitable or non-strategic stores. Quarterly sales totaled $9.1 billion versus $9.3 billion in 2001’s fourth quarter.