Penn Traffic, a regional grocery chain based in Syracuse, New York, posted a drop in fourth quarter revenue today (22 April) as a result of a reduction in the company’s store count.

For the period ended 31 January, revenues dropped to US$872.3m compared to $896m during the year prior. The figure was affected by lower volume and traffic trends.

Including net gains and losses from discontinued operations, the company recorded net losses of $17.6m compared to $41.7m in 2008.

Fiscal 2009 same store sales decreased 1.7%, compared to fiscal 2008.

The company’s loss from continuing operations increased to reach $34.1m compared to $29.2m in the previous year.

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Penn Traffic also posted a $26.8m gain from its fourth quarter 2009 wholesale business segment divestiture, which has been classified for accounting purposes as discontinued operations.

President and CEO Gregory Young said the company had closed fiscal 2009 with a “substantially improved” balance sheet and cost structure.

“At the same time, we continue to make targeted investments to enhance our top line performance,” Gregory said.

“While we spent more than $5m on capital expenditures during fiscal 2009, we expect our operating performance to fund an even higher level of investment in the business during fiscal 2010. These investments are targeted to make our stores more attractive to customers, enhance the quality and availability of our products, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations.”

EBITDA for the period, including non-recurring charges, was $3.8m compared to $3.1m in 2008. Adjusted for non-recurring charges, EBITDA was $11.7m in the 12 months ended 31 January compared to $22.7m during the same period last year.