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U.S. Foodservice's sales increase 12% to record $1.533 billion; Columbia firm's net income rises to $17.86 million; Food distribution

THE BALTIMORE SUN

U.S. Foodservice Inc. of Columbia, the nation's second-largest food service distributor, reported second-quarter net income yesterday of $17.86 million compared with a loss of $80.3 million in the same period in 1997.

The profit was equal to 43 cents a common share for the three months that ended Dec. 26, compared with a loss of $1.56 per share in the second quarter of 1997.

Income before extraordinary charges was $20.6 million, or 43 cents a share, compared with $12.8 million, or 28 cents a share, in the same period in 1997.

Net sales rose 12 percent to $1.5 billion from $1.4 billion, the 18th consecutive quarter of record sales. Shares of U.S. Foodservice closed yesterday at $49.625, up 75 cents.

The company -- formerly known as JP Foodservice -- reported an acquisition related loss of $93.1 million in the second quarter in 1997 associated with its purchase of Rykoff-Sexton Inc., a food distributor in Wilkes-Barre, Pa..

For the first six months of the fiscal year, U.S. Foodservice had net income of $34.8 million, or 79 cents a share, compared with a loss of $83.4 million, or $1.35 a share, in the same part of 1997.

Without the acquisition-related costs, net income would have been $22.6 million, or 50 cents a share, in the first six months of 1997.

Sales for the six-month period in 1998 were up 11 percent to $3.01 billion.

Jim Miller, U.S. Foodservice's chairman and chief executive officer, said that as a result of its strong first half and some other recent acquisitions, the company is "well positioned for another year of outstanding results."

Late last year, U.S. Foodservice purchased J. H. Haar & Sons Inc., a food distributor in Kearny, N.J., and Joseph Webb Foods Inc. of Vista, Calif.

Pub Date: 1/22/99

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