Winn-Dixie announces new marketing leadership; results for Q1 2009

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Winn-Dixie Stores has named Mary Kellmanson to head of its marketing department and reported its earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2009, the company today announced.

Kellmanson’s daily duties will cover overseeing business and strategic operations for the Winn-Dixie advertising, communications and marketing departments. She will report to Dan Portnoy, chief merchandising and marketing officer.

Kellmanson formerly served Winn-Dixie as vice president of marketing. She came to Winn-Dixie’s management team after working for about 15 years at Wegmans Food Markets as vice president of advertising and marketing. At Wegman’s, she oversaw branding, loyalty card operations, market research, new store openings and on-line and co-op programs.

“[Kellmanson]’s strong marketing background will serve our Company well as we continue focusing our efforts on providing a fresh and local shopping experience to our customers every day,” Portnoy said. “Her passion for the retail industry, coupled with her energy and leadership will drive us to delivering our promise of getting better all the time.”

Winn-Dixie has also announced its earnings for the first quarter of 2009.

The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization totaled $27 million, reflecting a 38.5 percent increase, or an increase of $7.5 million from $19.5 million in the first quarter 2008. Winn-Dixie estimated $2.7 million in earnings due to Hurricanes Ike and Gustav, exceeding predicted storm-related losses.

However, Winn-Dixie did report a net loss of $2.3 million, ($0.04 per diluted share), compared to a net loss of $0.8 million ($0.01 per diluted share), in the first quarter of fiscal 2008. Same store sales saw an increase of 3 percent.

“We are very pleased with our financial results for the quarter,” Winn-Dixie chairman, chief excutice officer and president, Peter Lynch, said. “We improved adjusted EBITDA while also delivering solid sales growth. We also benefited from increased sales both before and after the storms that affected many of our communities in Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and along the Gulf Coast. Our associates put forth a great team effort that enabled us to re-open stores quickly to better serve our customers.”

Net sales for the first quarter 2009 were reported at $1.7 billion, up or 3.4 percent or $55 million compared to the same quarter 2008.

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