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Fleming Cos. Inc., the parent company of area Jubilee Foods stores and wholesale supplier to more than 70 local independent grocers, saw a 73 percent plunge in third-quarter net earnings.

Fleming reported net earnings of $1 million, or three cents per share, compared to $3.7 million, or 10 cents per share in the third quarter of 1995.

The key factor in the huge decline was a $20 million one-time charge related to the previously announced settlement of a lawsuit involving Premium Sales. Without the settlement payout, the earnings would have been $7.1 million, or 19 cents per share. On an adjusted basis, earnings for the 12-week period ended Oct. 5 would have been 93 percent above a year ago.

The company also experienced a dip in net sales, from $3.9 million in the third quarter of 1995, to $3.7 million in the just-ended period. Same-store sales were off by 1.2 percent from 1995.

Robert Stauth, chairman and chief executive officer, said that despite the negative factors impacting on the third-quarter bottom line, he is "extremely encouraged" by the earnings momentum.

"Core profitability has improved, despite the decrease in sales, which affected the level of earnings," he said. "Equally encouraging is the fact that the rate of sales decrease was lower in the third quarter compared to the second quarter."

Sales figures for the Jubilee chain were not available.

Local ad exec to address
national police group
Alden Schutte, chief executive officer of the Schutte Group, will address the National Police Commissioner's Convention this weekend in Phoenix regarding an ad campaign the agency created for the Buffalo Police Department.

The multi-media campaign urges local residents to phone 853-2222, instead of 911, for non-emergency matters. Schutte will be joined by his agency's senior vice president, Lawrence Singer.

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