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MONTVALE, N.J. - The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company Inc. announced that sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2001 were $2.5 billion, compared with $2.6 billion in fiscal 2000, while comparable store sales increased 0.5 percent.
Excluding charges arising from the company's asset disposition program and repurchase of debt, earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2001 were $.20, compared with a loss of $.28 in fiscal 2000. Including the aforementioned items, net income for the fourth quarter of 2001 was $.49 per share.
For the 52-week year, sales were $11.0 billion, compared with $10.6 billion in fiscal 2000. Comparable store sales increased by 2.6 percent. Excluding charges, results for fiscal 2001 were a profit of $.02 per share, versus a loss of $.65 per share for the 52 weeks of fiscal 2000. Including the aforementioned items, results for the 52 weeks of 2001 were a loss of $2.18.
"I am pleased with A&P's solid progress in the fourth quarter and the whole of fiscal 2001, as we achieved operating profitability while again improving our sales and market share," said Christian Haub, chairman of the board and CEO. "Through improved operating fundamentals and cost control, we increased gross margins and lowered expense rates throughout the year. We also realized benefits from our ongoing supply chain and business process initiative. In addition, we reduced net debt by $234 million over the course of the year from inventory reductions and asset management initiatives."
Elizabeth R. Culligan, president and chief operating officer, said: "We acted decisively in fiscal 2001 to review and improve our store network in terms of overall quality and growth potential. That effort, and the initial results of ongoing programs to upgrade our operating disciplines and merchandising execution, were major factors in our performance improvement."