Safeway said it expects identical store sales growth in the range of 2-3%

Safeway said it expects identical store sales growth in the range of 2-3%

US retailer Safeway Inc has forecast financial results for 2013 ahead of Wall Street expectations.

In a statement yesterday (6 March), the US grocer said it expects earnings of US$2.25 to $2.45 per share for 2013. That comes in above Wall Street expectations of $2.24.

Safeway said it also expects identical-store sales growth in the range of 2-3% and free cash flow in the range of $0.85bn to $0.95bn. Operating profit margin is expected to be "flat to positive ten basis points", it said.

"We made progress in 2012 on a number of initiatives, which we believe helped achieve market share gains and positive volume in the US. As we move forward, [loyalty scheme] just for U, fuel partnerships with Chevron and ExxonMobil, innovation in-store and in private label, as well as growth in Blackhawk and PDC should drive continued positive momentum," said chairman and CEO Steve Burd.

Last month, Safeway ended its financial year with an acceleration in underlying sales growth in the final quarter and earnings per share that beat analyst forecasts.

Show the press release

Safeway Inc. Holds 2013 Investor Conference
Provides 2013 Financial Guidance

PLEASANTON, CA -- (MARKETWIRE) -- 03/06/13 -- Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) will hold a conference today for institutional investors and research analysts beginning at 8:00 AM PST (11:00 AM EST). Management will review Safeway's recent performance and establish its 2013 financial guidance.

For the year 2013, the company is initiating guidance as follows:

  • Earnings per diluted share of $2.25 to $2.45
  • ID sales growth, excluding fuel, in a range of 2.0% to 3.0%
  • Operating profit margin change, excluding fuel, of flat to positive 10 basis points*
  • Capital expenditures of approximately $1.0 billion to $1.1 billion and
  • Free cash flow in a range of $0.85 billion to $0.95 billion*

"We made progress in 2012 on a number of initiatives, which we believe helped achieve market share gains and positive volume in the U.S. As we move forward, just for U, fuel partnerships with Chevron andExxonMobil, innovation in-store and in private label, as well as growth in Blackhawk and PDC should drive continued positive momentum," said Steve Burd, Chairman and CEO.

The investor conference will be audio webcast live today from 8:00 AM PST to approximately 12:00 PM PSTat http://www.safeway.com/investor_relations. Click on the webcast link to access the event. The audio replay will be available in an archived format for approximately two weeks after the meeting.

Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America. The company operates 1,641 stores in the U.S. and Canada and had sales of $44.2 billion in 2012.

Original source: Safeway