Penn Traffic suffers loss in first quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Penn Traffic Co., which operates and supplies supermarkets in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and New Hampshire, sustained an operating loss of $6,876,000 in the first quarter ended May 2, compared with a loss of $8,928,000 in the same period a year ago. Net sales in the first quarter totaled $200.1 million, down from $212.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

First-quarter fiscal 2010 results included $2.4 million in non-recurring charges, which compared with $3 million in similar charges during the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

"As we saw much of the retail grocery industry struggle in the face of the challenging economy, we remained committed to our efforts to attract and retain loyal shoppers, stabilize the top line and take unnecessary overhead and inefficiencies out of the business," said Gregory J. Young, president and chief executive officer. "The lower volume and traffic levels we saw in the first quarter were in line with our internal expectations and offset in part by our aggressive cost-saving measures, allowing us to continue narrowing Penn Traffic’s losses. At the same time, we continued to invest cash in store renovations and other strategic capital projects, while paying down additional debt."

In January 2008, Penn Traffic Co. closed its Penny Curtiss commercial bakery operation as part of its strategy for improving the company’s long-term financial performance and further focusing its resources on enhancing the in-store experience for its customers.

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