US supermarket operator Penn Traffic has announced that it has filed its Plan of Reorganisation with the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Once the plan is approved by the court, Penn Traffic expects to emerge from chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this autumn with significantly reduced debt and with its core business intact, including 109 company-operated stores, its wholesale/franchise business and the Penny Curtiss bakery.

Penn Traffic filed for chapter 11 protection on 30 May 2003. Its turnaround plan has included the sale or closing of unprofitable and non-core operations, including the Big Bear supermarket chain and around 37 additional supermarkets.

"The new Penn Traffic will have a solid core of very healthy and competitive supermarkets, and our bakery operations and wholesale/ franchise businesses remain strong. We believe the steps we have taken to improve liquidity and operating performance, and to dramatically reduce our debt, have put Penn Traffic on strong footing for the future," said CEO Robert Chapman.