Supervalu swings to Q4 loss; will open 50 Save-A-Lots this year

Minneapolis -- Supervalu Inc. reported Tuesday that it swung to a loss of $424 million in the quarter ended Feb. 25, compared with a $95 million gain a year earlier. Results were negatively impacted by charges related to store closures and employee layoffs, but still beat Wall Street expectations.

The operator of the Albertsons, Save-A-Lot and Jewel-Osco banners has been in the throes of turnaround efforts overseen by CEO Craig Herkert. The company generated sales in the fourth quarter of $8.23 billion, down from $8.66 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales were negative 1.9%. For the full year, net sales were $36.1 billion, down from $37.5 billion in the prior year, and the company lost $1.04 billion, narrowed from a $1.51 billion loss in fiscal 2011.

“We remain focused on delivering improved value for our customers and meeting the specific needs of each community we serve,” said Herkert, adding that he was pleased with the results of the turnaround thus far.

For the upcoming year, he said that capital spending is projected at $675 million, and that the company plans to complete 100 store remodels and increase Save-A-Lot’s store count by 50.