Retailer the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, (A&P) has announced first quarter results for the 16 weeks ended 18 June 2005 showing sales up and a rise in losses.

Sales for the first quarter were $3.4bn, compared with $3.3bn in the previous year's first quarter. Comparable store sales decreased 0.3% vs. year-ago.

Results from continuing operations, were a loss of $89m versus a loss of $41m in last year's first quarter. The current year's results include charges totalling $68m related to certain items that the Company believes are of a non-operating nature. These items include $50m in restructuring costs, primarily related to the sale of the US distribution operations to C&S, $15m related to Midwest exit costs, and $3m related to a Canadian dollar hedge. Last year's results included a $1m restructuring charge. Excluding these items, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was $101m for first quarter of fiscal 2005 versus $81m for the same period of fiscal 2004.

"Our company's improvement continued in the first quarter said Christian Haub, chairman and CEO "A&P Canada's fresh marketing initiatives, improving discount Food Basics operation and cost controls contributed to excellent results in Ontario. In the US our fresh store development continued to generate excellent customer response, while the Food Basics stores produced a good sales trend as our improvement of that format continued."