US grocer Albertsons Cos Inc has reported a 26.5% rise in same-store sales in its first quarter as a publicly listed company, driven by demand for home deliveries of groceries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company's shares, which were listed on the New York Stock Exchange in June, were up about 2% in premarket trading.
Albertsons, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the country, has benefited from a shift toward shopping for groceries online during the virus outbreak, as consumers stay indoors and cook more meals at home.
"We have accelerated our digital and e-commerce strategy to adapt to market conditions," chief executive officer Vivek Sankaran said.
The company's stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons and others, together saw e-commerce sales more than triple during the quarter.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons said gross margins rose to 29.8% from 28% a year earlier, due to reduced inventory shrinkage and lower promotional activity.
Net sales and other revenue rose about 21% to $22.75 billion for the first quarter ended 20 June.
Net income rose to $586.2 million, or $1 per share, in the reported quarter, from $49 million, or 8 cents per share, a year earlier, when it recorded impairment losses.
On an adjusted basis, the company earned $1.35 per share, 5 cents above analysts' estimates, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.