Retail News Breaks
Safeway considering possible sale of company
February 19th, 2014
PLEASANTON, Calif. – Safeway Inc. on February 19 confirmed it is in discussions concerning a possible sale of the company. The company said that it has not agreed on a deal, that there is no certainty a deal will be reached and that it will not comment further on the discussions at this time.
The announcement came as Safeway reported its results for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Net earnings from continuing operations were $100 million for the quarter, down from $170.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2012.
Sales and other revenue was $11.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with $11.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. An identical-store sales increase (excluding fuel) of 1.6% was largely offset by a decline in fuel sales. Gross profit increased 20 basis points to 26.52% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with 26.32% of sales in the fourth quarter of 2012.
"We are pleased with the progress we made in 2013," said Safeway president and chief executive officer Robert Edwards. "Strategies to grow sales and improve operating profit dollars have begun to produce results. In 2013 we generated our best volume growth since 2006, and we had our best identical-store sales growth in the last five years. At the same time we continue to pursue strategies to enhance momentum and increase shareholder value. We look forward to continuing progress in 2014."
Separately from its discussions regarding the possible sale of the company, Safeway has decided to distribute the remaining 37.8 million shares it owns of Blackhawk Network Holdings (representing about 72.2% of the outstanding Blackhawk shares) to Safeway stockholders.
Safeway is also considering the possibility of selling its 49% stake in Casa Ley S.A. de C.V., Mexico's fifth-largest food and general merchandise retailer by sales.
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