US supermarket operator the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co (A&P) has reported a narrower third-quarter loss, helped by a solid performance in Canada.

A&P posted a loss of US$25.1m, or 65 cents per share, for the third quarter to 29 November, compared with a loss of $30m, or 77 cents a share, a year earlier.

Sales for the third quarter were $2.5bn, compared with $2.3bn in the year-ago quarter. Comparable store sales increased 1.2% compared to a year earlier.

Excluding an impairment charge of $60m related to its Farmer Jack operations, A&P posted a pre-tax loss from continuing operations of $41m, or 32 cents per share, for the quarter, compared to a pre-tax loss of $41m, or $1.12 per share, for the same period of the prior year.

"I am encouraged by our third quarter progress, which included continued solid performance in Canada, ongoing improvement in the US and the completion of important corporate initiatives to secure the company's financial health," said CEO Christian Haub.