Safeway 1Q earnings down

PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway reported net income of $96 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2010 compared with $144.2 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2009.

“Our first quarter results were in line with our expectations, and we are reaffirming our earnings per share guidance for 2010 of $1.65 to $1.85,” said Steve Burd, chairman, president and CEO. “We are encouraged by our volume trends in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the fourth quarter of 2009, and the trends have improved in the second quarter of 2010. We believe we will continue to see positive trends in the second half of the year as the economy improves, deflation subsides and consumer confidence builds.”

Total sales increased to $9.3 billion in the first quarter of 2010 compared with $9.2 billion in the first quarter of 2009. This increase was the result of a higher Canadian exchange rate and higher fuel sales, partly offset by a 3.1% decline in identical-store sales, excluding fuel, the company reported.