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A&P trims Q3 net loss

BY Antoinette Alexander

MONTVALE, N.J. — Bankrupt grocer A&P narrowed its net loss during the third quarter and executives expressed optimism as it has access to a "significant amount of liquidity" and is forging ahead with its turnaround plan.

As previously reported, the 395-store supermarket chain filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 12. Furthermore, the court approved $800 million in debtor-in-possession financing, which now is fully accessible by the company.

Sales for the third quarter totaled $1.8 billion, compared with $2 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales decreased 4.9%. Net loss during the quarter totaled $199.4 million, or a loss of $3.78 cents per diluted share, compared with a loss of $559.6 million, or a loss of $14.35 per share, in the year-ago period.

"We saw modest improvement in certain of our third-quarter financial results due to the steps we’ve taken to implement our turnaround plan and the continued dedication of our talented associates. Chapter 11 will allow us to restructure our debt, reduce our structural costs and address our legacy issues. With access to a significant amount of liquidity, we are making strategic decisions that will enable us to complete our turnaround and emerge with a new capital structure and an enhanced ability to provide value to our customers," stated Sam Martin, president and CEO.

In a separate announcement, A&P reported that Hans Heer, GM of The Food Emporium business, has left the company. He has been a member of the company’s executive team since 2006. Dan Wodzenski, district manager of sales and operations for The Food Emporium, and The Food Emporium’s operations team will report to Paul Hertz, EVP operations at A&P. In addition, The Food Emporium marketing and merchandising team now will report to Tom O’Boyle, A&P EVP.

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Safeway to donate funds to Tucson shooting victims

BY Allison Cerra

TUCSON, Ariz. — Safeway announced that it has formed a fund to aid the victims of the recent shooting that occurred in one of its Tucson stores.

The company launched the fund with an initial contribution of $100,000 from the Safeway Foundation, and is encouraging in-store contributions from Safeway customers and community members in the company’s Arizona stores.

“We have felt the shock and the sadness, and with our neighbors, we have felt this community come together to heal and to reach out to the victims and their families,” said Dan Valenzuela, Safeway’s division president for Arizona. “The fund is an extension of what we — and everyone in Tucson — have done from the very beginning. As a community, we have tried to find ways to help where we can and to stand together."

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Walgreens raises quarterly dividend

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens’ board of directors declared a 27.3% of its quarterly dividend for shareholders of record Feb. 18.

The drug store chain said Thursday that its dividend now totaled 17.5 cents per share. Walgreens has paid a dividend in 313 straight quarters (78 years) and has raised its dividend for 35 consecutive years.

The dividend is payable March 12.

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