Canadian baked goods producer and retail operator George Weston has announced that it is forecasting a loss of up to C$500m (US$428.82m) in the fourth quarter, reflecting a writedown of assets at its Loblaw grocery division.

The Toronto-based company said it expects to record a 2006 goodwill impairment charge on Loblaw's assets in Quebec of between $600m to $900m.

Weston is expecting to post a basic net loss per common share from continuing operations of between $2.46 to $3.90 in the fourth quarter.

The company reported sales for the fourth quarter of $7.6bn, up from $7.3bn last year, and a rise in full-year sales from $31.2bn to $32.2bn. It said it expects to report its full-year audited results by the end of March.