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ID NEWS: Sysco quarter profit up 11.2%; NY Times features distributor, ponders competition

Sysco Corp., Houston, has recorded an 11.2% year-to-year gain in profit, for a total of $168.4 million during its third quarter. This is at the low end of Wall Street forecasts. Sales increased 13.8% to $6.4 billion for the quarter, the distributor said during a conference call.

The nation's largest broadliner, at $24.7 billion in sales during the last calendar, cited operational efficiencies and cost reductions to counter the impact of the war in Iraq and adverse weather conditions.

Separately, Sysco was featured in the business section of the New York Times' Sunday edition (4/27/03), as "one of the great uninterrupted growth stories" in American business. One analyst suggested that, "short of kryptonite, there's not much that can touch this company."

Other analysts conjectured that this view could change, should a significant new competitor, namelyWal-Mart, enter the market. The thought expressed here was that the retailer giant is "testing the waters" through its Texas-based McLane subsidiary, which operates McLane Foodservice, the nation's second largest systems house.

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