US supermarket and grocery retailer Fresh Brands today (Monday) announced a profit of $500,000 for the fourth quarter of 2004, reversing a $3.0m loss in the same period of 2003.

Sales for the fourth quarter were $159.4m, compared with $152.1m in the fourth quarter of 2003. Sales for the year as a whole were $637.1m, ($602.5m in 2003), with income for the year $300,000 ($2.5m).

"We are pleased to report our second consecutive profitable quarter," said Louis Stinebaugh, Fresh Brands' president and CEO. "During the fourth quarter, we launched our new 'value proposition' pricing and marketing strategy to all of our Piggly Wiggly stores. We are pleased with the initial impact, which has created excellent consumer awareness of the lowered pricing and had a positive impact on sales."