Israeli retailer Shufersal swings to Q3 loss on efficiency moves

A man pushes a shopping cart outside Shufersal, Israel's largest supermarket chain, in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Mishor Adumim near Jerusalem May 5, 2013. REUTERS/Ammar Awad/Files Photo

JERUSALEM, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Shufersal (SAE.TA), Israel's largest supermarket chain, reported on Monday a third-quarter loss, citing higher operating expenses due to measures expected to cut costs next year.

Shufersal said it lost 96 million shekels ($28 million) in the July-September period, versus an 82 million shekel profit a year earlier. Revenue was up 0.2% to 3.81 billion shekels.

The company said the quarterly loss stemmed from it implementing an efficiency plan that includes shifting part of its online operations to an automated delivery centre, a move it expects will save 250 million shekels in 2023.

Online sales slipped to 18.8% of total sales from 19.2% a year earlier. Its own private brand reached 26.7% of food retail sales. Revenue at its drugstore unit dipped 1.8% to 266 million shekels due to a drop in sales of COVID-related products.

Shufersal is in a battle with a number of its suppliers, including foodmaker Tnuva, over their plans to raise prices. Tnuva is owned by China's Bright Food and Dairy Co (600597.SS).

($1 = 3.4397 shekels)

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch Editing by Steven Scheer

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