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UPDATE 1-Great Atlantic & Pacific loss wider on sales plunge
May 5, 2010 / 11:38 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-Great Atlantic & Pacific loss wider on sales plunge

* Q4 same store sales down 4.8 pct

* Revenues down 12.9 pct to $2 bln

NEW YORK, May 5 (Reuters) - Supermarket chain Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co Inc GAP.N reported a wider fourth-quarter loss, as sales continued to slide and its acquisition of a rival two years ago dragged down results.

A&P reported that sales at existing stores fell 4.8 percent during the quarter ended Feb. 27, while overall sales fell 12.9 percent to $2 billion.

Analysts had forecast sales of $2.19 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net loss for the quarter was $171.4 million, or $5.07 per share, 53 percent greater than its a loss of $112.1 million, or $4.83 per share, a year earlier.

Its gross margins receded slightly, falling 0.4 percentage points to 30.5 percent.

A&P’s results have been hurt by the sharp sales decline at grocery chain Pathmark, which it bought in December 2007. It has posted losses for more than two years and been hobbled by higher operating costs and pension-related costs.

Chief Executive Ron Marshall, who joined A&P in January after leaving as CEO of U.S. bookseller Borders Group Inc BGP.N said in a statement that A&P was concentrating on “completing the integration of the Pathmark acquisition” and squeezing out efficiencies in its supply chain costs. (Reporting by Phil Wahba; editing by Andre Grenon)

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