Vons Reports Improved Earnings: Vons Cos. said first-quarter earnings edged up 6%, to $15.9 million, or 37 cents a share, from $15 million, or 35 cents, a year earlier because of an improved product mix and higher sales per labor hour. In the year-earlier period, the company took a charge of $15.5 million, or 36 cents a share, to reflect the impact of accounting changes for employee retirement benefits, and a $500,000 charge, or 1 cent a share, relating to debt refinancing. Revenue for the quarter slipped 6% to $1.19 billion from $1.27 billion a year earlier. Vons said sales were hurt by the continuing recession in Southern California, increased sales promotions and negative publicity surrounding food poisonings linked to bacteria-tainted hamburgers from Jack in the Box.
From Times Staff and Wire Reports