Supervalu reports loss for Q3 2008

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. Supervalu has reported a net loss for the third quarter 2008. Earnings declined from the previous year, the company said Wednesday.

Superval, which operates under the banners Albertsons, Bristol Farms, Cub Foods, Acme Markets and Farm Fresh, has adjusted its targets for capital spending and debt reduction for fiscal 2010. Company officials said that Supervalu now anticipates a net loss for 2009. 

The company reported its third-quarter net loss to be $13.95 per share, or $2.9 billion, compared to net earnings of $0.66 per share, or $141 million total, for the same time the previous year. 

The reported gross profit was $2.3 billion, or 22.4% of net sales. That was fairly steady compared to $2.3 billion, or 22.2% of net sales, from the previous year. The company said the steady gross margin was a result of various merchandising initiatives plus higher margins on fuel, and a change in its business segment mix.

Supervalu said net sales for the most-recently concluded period totaled $10.2 billion, which was almost flat compared to the same time in the previous year. The company said retail food net sales remained steady at $7.9 billion, a stability attributed to an offset from the impact of store closures and negative same-store sales of 0.5%. 

The company also said that looking forward to fiscal 2009, it expects results to reflect a loss of between $12.39 per share and $12.14 per share. Previously, Supervalu’s predications showed earnings of between $2.86 and $2.96 per share.

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