Winn-Dixie Reports Net Loss, Slight Sales Increase in Fourth Quarter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. on Wednesday reported a net loss in its fourth quarter ended June 26, 2002, hurt by a loss from the disposal of discontinued operations. Sales from continuing operations edged up slightly.

In May the retailer announced plans to exit its Texas and Oklahoma operations, which consisted of 71 stores in Texas, five stores in Oklahoma, and the distribution center and dairy plant in Fort Worth. Year to date, it incurred a loss from the discontinued operations of $172.8 million ($100.3 million, net of income tax), which included the pre-tax loss on disposal of discontinued operations of $126.4 million.

That loss contributed to a net loss of $21.9 million, or $(0.16) per diluted share as compared to $13.0 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, for the same quarter last year.

Net earnings from continuing operations for the quarter were $52.8 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, compared to $19.2 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, for the same quarter last year.

Sales from continuing operations edged up 0.5 percent to $2.9 billion. Adjusted for the timing of the Easter holiday impact of approximately 1 percent, identical store sales from continuing operations increased 1.2 percent and comparable store sales increased 1.3 percent for the quarter.

"We are pleased to see positive identical store sales for the fourth quarter. Our focus on sales includes our commitment to operate the best store in the neighborhood, provide value to our customers, and attract customers through exciting marketing programs, including our Customer Reward Card. For fiscal 2003 we will continue to concentrate on the total shopping experience for our customers, as well as our own operational efficiencies," said Al Rowland, Winn-Dixie's president and CEO.
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