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    Winn-Dixie ‘Very Pleased With’ Prelim Q4 Results

    Lower net sales, income fell within previous guidance

    Winn-Dixie Stores Inc.’s preliminary financial results for fourth quarter ended June 29, 2011, showed net sales of about $1.6 billion, vs. $1.7 billion for the year-ago period (which included an extra week), reflecting a 3.2 percent rise in identical-store sales. Net income from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 was expected to be about $5 million, or 10 cents per diluted share, compared with $16 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, last year.

    For the full fiscal year, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Winn-Dixie expected to report net sales of around $6.9 billion, vs. $7.0 billion for the prior fiscal year, reflecting a 0.1 percent dip in identical-store sales. Net loss from continuing operations was expected to be about $30 million, or 54 cents per diluted share, compared with $37 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, for fiscal 2010.

    The grocer also estimated capital expenditures of about $93 million for fiscal 2011, lower than its most recent estimate of $115 million. Winn-Dixie attributed this to the timing of expenditures that are now slated for fiscal 2012. The company ended the fiscal year with liquidity of about $554 million, comprising $346 million of borrowing availability under its credit agreement, and about $208 million of cash and cash equivalents. There were no borrowings on the line during the year, Winn-Dixie noted.

    The preliminary results remain subject to the year-end audit process. Winn-Dixie will report its final fiscal 2011 fourth-quarter and full-year results and provide fiscal 2012 guidance after the market closes on Aug. 29.

    “We are very pleased with our results for fiscal 2011, which fell within our previously announced guidance despite a continued inflationary environment and a waning economic recovery,” said Peter Lynch, chairman, CEO and president of Winn-Dixie, which operates 484 retail grocery locations with 75 liquor stores and four fuel centers at the retail stores and 379 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. “This year, we strategically managed our promotional activity and merchandising efforts, and aligned those programs with our retail initiatives to better meet the needs of our guests and strengthen our brand over the long term.”

    Added Lynch: “We began the year in one of the most difficult environments in years, and by remaining true to our strategy and keenly focused on execution, we were able to strengthen our results significantly during the second half of the year. This is a testament to the talent and hard work of our management team and all our team members, and makes me feel positive about our future.”
     

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