US grocery retailer Supervalu Inc lowered its fiscal 2011 guidance today (11 January) after its third-quarter losses almost doubled.

Supervalu CEO Craig Herkert attributed the reduced forecast to softer third-quarter identical store sales and “less than effective” promotions.

The retailer is now forecasting a net loss in the range of US$7.19 to $7.09 per diluted share on a GAAP basis and adjusted earnings of US$1.25 to $1.35 per diluted share when excluding non-cash impairment charges and other charges.

It was previously forecasting a net loss in the range of $5.94 and $5.74 a share on a GAAP basis and adjusted earnings of $1.40 to $1.60 per diluted share when excluding non-cash impairment changes and certain other costs.

For the quarter to 4 December, Supervalu reported widening losses, which reached $202m, against $109m a year earlier.

Net sales fell 5.9% to $8.6bn and food sales dropped 7.7% to $6.6bn. Identical-store sales were down 4.9%.

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Commenting on the results, Herkert said: “Our performance is still not close to my expectations and we continue to take action to change the trajectory of our businesses. Through our business transformation process, we will invest in leverage our buying power and enhance retail execution.

The results also included the finalisation of non-cash goodwill and intangible asset charges of $210m, store closure and exit costs of $29m and employee-related expenses, primarily severance and labour buy out costs of $13m.

Click here for the retailer’s full results and click here for Supervalu CEO Craig Herkert’s comments on how the retailer is looking to revitalise the business.