Retail News Breaks
Supervalu loss deepens for 4th qtr., fiscal year
April 24th, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS – Supervalu Inc. reported wider losses from continuing operations for both the fourth quarter and full 2013 fiscal year as sales in its retail and wholesale segments continued to weaken.
The losses were further aggravated by asset impairment and employee severance charges.
On March 21 Supervalu sold the supermarket chains it had acquired several years ago from Albertsons Inc. to an investor group and therefore classified their results as discontinued operations for both fiscal 2013 and 2012. Consequently, the net losses for both the quarter and the year exceeded $1.4 billion due to red ink from discontinued operations of $1.23 billion for the fourth quarter and $1.20 billion for the year.
The fourth quarter loss from continuing lines increased to $179 million, or 85 cents per share, as sales declined 2.3% to $3.89 billion. The results included $149 million, or 71 cents per share, in after-tax charges related to noncash asset impairment charges and employee severance costs. Excluding those items as well as $47 million, or 22 cents per share, in asset impairment and employee severance charges in the fiscal 2012 quarter, results from continuing operations swung to a loss of $30 million, or 14 cents per share, from a profit of $5 million, or 2 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of 18 cents per share, on average.
Supervalu’s full-year loss from continuing operations swelled to $263 million from $110 million a year ago, reflecting after-tax charges totaling $187 million for such items as asset impairment, severance, store closure and unamortized financing costs, and $100 million in fiscal 2012. Excluding special items in both years, the loss from continuing operations increased to $76 million from a $10 million loss a year ago.
Supervalu’s top-line weakness in the fourth quarter reflects a 4.4% decline in sales at the company’s slimmed-down Retail Food segment that was driven by a 4.1% drop in identical-store sales. Sales at the Save-A-Lot discount grocery division also dipped 1.5%, reflecting a 2.6% decrease in identical-store sales. Even Supervalu’s traditional wholesale division, now called Independent Business, registered a 1.3% fall in sales due to a lower level of new business.
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