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MONTVALE, N.J. - The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company Inc. announced unaudited fiscal 2001 second quarter and year to date results for the 12 and 28 weeks ended September 8, 2001.
Sales for the second quarter were $2.548 billion in fiscal 2001 vs. $2.440 billion in 2000. Comparable store sales increased 2.7%. Excluding costs related to the company's supply chain and business process strategic initiatives from both years, earnings per share were $.26 for the second quarter of 2001, vs. $.12 for 2000. Results as reported, including costs of the strategic initiatives, were a loss of $.08 per share in the second quarter of 2001, vs. a loss of $.14 per share in 2000.
Sales for the 28 week year to date first half were $5.936 billion for fiscal 2001, vs. $5.639 billion in 2000. Comparable store sales increased 3.3%. Excluding costs related to the strategic initiatives from both years, earnings per share were $.55 for the first half of fiscal 2001, vs. $.53 for 2000. Results as reported, including costs of the strategic initiatives, were a loss of $.27 per share for 2001, vs. income of $.01 per share in 2000.
Christian Haub, chairman of the board, president and CEO, said: "We are pleased with our progress in the second quarter. We continued to build sales while improving gross margins. Over the last few quarters we have been implementing new merchandising programs and processes, and the second quarter gross margin shows that these programs are working. Operating income excluding special items is now running ahead of last year, with further improvements expected in the second half, in line with previous guidance.
"A combination of financial management programs initiated last year have significantly strengthened our balance sheet. We reduced debt by $101 million in the second quarter, bringing year-to date debt reduction to $124 million."
Haub concluded: "Last year we identified merchandising issues which were interrupting our positive earnings trend. We believe recent results show that we are successfully dealing with those issues. Step by step we continue to make progress toward becoming the Supermarket of Choice. We appreciate the growing engagement of our associates in this progress."
Early in fiscal 2000 the Company announced a multi-year project of strategic initiatives to improve its supply chain and business processes. Fiscal 2001 is the second year of this project. For the 12 and 28 weeks ended September 8, 2001, the costs of these strategic initiatives amounted to $.34 and $.82 per share (see the ``As Adjusted'' Tables for a break out of these costs for 2001 and 2000.) In line with previous announcements, the Company expects continuing costs of about $.34 per share for these strategic initiatives in both the third and fourth quarters of fiscal 2001, bringing anticipated costs for the fiscal year as a whole to about $1.50 per share.