Penn Traffic Second-Quarter Loss Doubles

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Penn Traffic Second-Quarter Loss Doubles

While the Penn Traffic Co. net loss for its second quarter was more than double last year’s, the Syracuse, N.Y.-based company -- which owns and operates P&C, Quality and BiLo supermarkets in the northeastern United States -- said it’s boosting cost-cutting measures and developing greater efficiencies to stop the bleeding.

“As we work to emerge stronger from a very challenging economic environment that’s clearly impacting our top line, we’re redoubling our efforts to consistently deliver good value to our shoppers while improving our cost structure and operating efficiency,” said president and CEO Gregory J. Young. “We have continued to carefully invest in capital projects designed to boost sales or improve our operations, such as the conversion of our Manlius, N.Y., store into a P&C Fresh concept store, which is slated for completion in November.”

Penn Traffic’s revenues from its 79-store continuing operations were $208.8 million in the quarter ended Aug. 1, 2009, compared with $228.3 million last year, when 86 stores were included in continuing operations. Second-quarter same-store sales decreased 6.8 percent from last year.

The grocer’s net loss for the quarter was $7 million, or 82 cents per share, increasing from last year’s second-quarter net loss of $2.9 million, or 36 cents per share.

According to Penn Traffic, a contributing factor in these losses was a strategic initiative it began in fiscal year 2008 to close certain stores that wouldn’t be part of its core operations going forward. However, the initiative is now complete, and the company expects these costs to continue to decrease in future periods.

For the six months ended Aug. 1, 2009, Penn Traffic’s revenues were $408.9 million, down from $440.4 million last year. The company’s net loss was $16.6 million, or $1.95 per share, for the half, vs. $15.8 million, or $1.88 per share last year.