MINNEAPOLIS – Supervalu Inc. announced first quarter fiscal 2012 net earnings of $74 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, and net sales of $11.1 billion. In the first quarter of fiscal 2011, net earnings were $67 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, and net sales were $11.5 billion.

“First quarter results reflect the progress we are making on our 8 Plays to Win strategy, and we remain on track to deliver our fiscal 2012 guidance,” said Craig Herkert, Supervalu’s CEO and president. “Our dedicated associates are utilizing new planning tools, analytics and a hyper local focus to help us meet the needs of today’s consumers, while reducing shrink and improving our operations.”

First quarter retail food net sales were $8.6 billion compared to $9.0 billion last year. The change in net sales primarily reflects identical store sales of negative 3.9 percent and previously announced market exits. Retail food operating earnings were $219 million, or 2.5 percent of net sales. Last year’s retail food operating earnings were $251 million, or 2.8 percent of net sales, and included $21 million in net pre-tax charges primarily related to retail market exits in Connecticut and Cincinnati, as well as the impact of the labor dispute at Shaw’s.

Supervalu Inc. is one of the largest companies in the US grocery channel with annual sales of approximately $37 billion. It serves customers throughout the US through a network of approximately 4,290 stores.