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A month after filing for Chapter 11 reorganization, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) posted third-quarter sales of $1.8 billion vs. $2.0 billion in the year-ago period, while. comparable-store sales dropped 4.9 percent. For the quarter, reported loss from continuing operations was $181 million, compared with last year’s $502 million.
“We saw modest improvement in certain of our third-quarter financial results due to the steps we’ve taken to implement our turnaround plan and the continued dedication of our talented associates,” noted A&P president and CEO Sam Martin. “Chapter 11 will allow us to restructure our debt, reduce our structural costs and address our legacy issues. With access to a significant amount of liquidity, we are making strategic decisions that will enable us to complete our turnaround and emerge with a new capital structure and an enhanced ability to provide value to our customers.”
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York has approved A&P’s $800 million DIP financing facility from JPMorgan Chase & Co. Of the total DIP facility, a $350 million term loan was immediately funded, and the company is continuing to implement and accelerate the basic elements of the turnaround plan it revealed last October. These elements include the reduction of structural and operating costs; the improvement of A&P’s value proposition for customers, and the enhancement of the customer experience in stores.
“With our restructuring underway, our stores have operated normally with fully stocked shelves and the excellent service our customers expect,” added Martin, praising associates for their exemplary performance during the hectic holiday season and a recent blizzard that socked the Northeast.
Montvale, N.J.-based A&P operates 395 stores in eight states and the District of Columbia under the following banners: A&P, Waldbaum’s, Pathmark, Best Cellars, The Food Emporium, Super Fresh and Food Basics.