(Jan. 11, PACKER WEB EXCLUSIVE) Performance Food Group expects its growth to exceed overall industry growth in 2008, senior vice president and chief financial officer John Austin said.

Austin said in a Jan. 11 conference call that net earnings per share are expected to be $1.39 to $1.49 this year for the Richmond, Va.-based foodservice company. That’s after one-time, pre-tax costs of $8 million to $10 million associated with the closing of the company’s broadline operation in Magee, Miss.

The Magee facility was one of three locations obtained in 2002 as part of a $95 million acquisition of Quality Foods Inc., Little Rock, Ark.

Austin said the rural facility was losing money, was too far from customers and had poor employee retention.

While that facility is closing, the company recently completed new facilities in Springfield, Mass.; St. Louis; and Cairo, Ga.

Performance Food Group entered into an agreement to become the exclusive distributor for O’Charley’s restaurants and its subsidiary chain, Stoney River, last year. President and chief executive officer Steve Spinner said the company would add Joe’s Crab Shack as a customer early this year.

Spinner also said the company is positioned for growth and is looking for acquisitions in its broadline segment.

“We’re starting to see some movement in companies, and they’re expressing an interest in talking with us,” he said.