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    A&P Reports First-quarter Profit

    MONTVALE, N.J. - Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc. today reported a quarterly profit for the first quarter ended on June 15.

    MONTVALE, N.J. - Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. Inc. today reported a quarterly profit for the first quarter ended on June 15. The company reported net income of $1.9 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $969,000, or 3 cents a share.

    Earnings for the latest period were 14 cents a share before charges from a previously announced asset disposition program and debt repurchase as well as a gain from the sale of common shares received from the demutualization of Prudential Insurance Co. The results benefited by 6 cents a share from a change in accounting method that emerged from a previously disclosed restatement of financial results for the last three years, the company said.

    A&P said earlier this month that the changes stemmed from recording of some vendor allowances before the period when they were actually earned -- a violation of its policy.

    A&P's first-quarter sales fell to $3.3 billion from $3.4 billion a year earlier. Sales at stores open at least a year increased 0.2 percent.

    "Although we improved our year-over-year operating earnings and achieved a modest increase in comparable store sales, we were not satisfied with our results in the first quarter," said chairman and CEO Christian Haub. "The slowdown in our rate of progress was the result of the difficult business environment, and the intensified competitive activity that emerged as a result. Going forward, we will act prudently to protect our market share in this environment, while maintaining our focus on the strategies driving our company's turnaround."

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