US grocer The Pantry has put its acquisition plans on hold after heading into the red for the first six months of its fiscal year.

The company, which is based in North Carolina, posted a net loss of US$1.8m for the six months to 27 March – compared to a net profit of $8.5m.

The fall was due to losses on fuel hedging positions. Excluding the hedging loss, net profit was $3m.

Revenue jumped 41.5% to $4bn but chairman and CEO Peter Sodini said a “soft” retail environment had led to challenging trading conditions and a decision to put a hold on any acquisition plans.

“We have reduced our fiscal 2008 net capital expenditure target by another $20m, to around $90m, and are suspending any additional acquisition activity for the remainder of this calendar year,” Sodini said.