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Fresh Brands Reports Increased Sales, Net Loss for First Quarter

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. -- Fresh Brands, Inc. reported a first-quarter net loss of $1.7 million, compared with net earnings of $1.9 million a year ago. Net sales increased 14.8 percent, or $25.8 million to $200.6 million, over the first quarter of last year.

This increase was mainly due to the company's adoption of Financial Accounting Standards Board Interpretation No. 46R (FIN 46R), "Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities," which resulted in the financial statement consolidation of 16 of the company's franchised operations and increased its net sales by $16 million.

Same-store sales rose 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2003.

The company said it expects to post additional charges in the second quarter of up to $2.2 million, related to the closing of these supermarkets. Fresh Brands doesn't expect to close any more supermarkets during 2004.
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