Costs related to its proposed sale to US retail group A&P has led to rising losses at local supermarket operator Pathmark.

Pathmark, which agreed to the US$1.3bn deal in March, run up some $5.2m in costs due to the transaction during the first quarter of its financial year.

For the three months ending 5 May, the company posted a net loss of $8.5m, up from $5.4m a year earlier. Sales were flat, reaching $999m, inching up from $998.5m a year ago.

Pathmark said it had also incurred costs of $4.2m due to incentives linked to a voluntary retirement scheme.

The US Federal Trade Commission is in the process of studying the proposed acquisition of Pathmark. A&P operates 406 stores in 9 states and the District of Columbia, while Pathmark runs 141 outlets primarily in the New York - New Jersey and Philadelphia metro areas.

Last month, A&P said it had reached a deal with the FTC on the timetable of the merger after the competition watchdog asked for more information on the transaction.

A&P and Pathmark have said they will not certify that they have complied with the request for information before 30 June or consummate the acquisition for 60 days after they comply with the request.