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Albertsons to Exit Omaha Market

BOISE, Idaho - Albertsons here said today it would pull out of Nebraska, closing or selling 21 stores in Omaha, Bellevue, and Grand Island, as well as in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The company said it agreed to sell five Albertsons stores in Omaha and Bellevue to No Frills, and six more stores in Omaha and Grand Island to Bag 'n Save. It is also selling an Osco drug store in Council Bluffs to Hy-Vee, and prescription records for nine Omaha Osco stores to Walgreen Co. Those stores will then be closed.

Albertsons had previously said it plans on exiting markets where it's not the No. 1 or 2 player. In April it announced it was pulling out of New Orleans, selling several of its stores there to A&P.

According to Albertsons, it would record six cents per share in second-quarter charges, largely to write down the value of property and equipment related to the Omaha-area sales, according to Reuters. The retailer reaffirmed its 2004 forecast for earnings from continuing operations of $1.40 to $1.50 per share.

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