US grocery retailer Albertsons is to exit the Omaha and Grand Island markets, leading to the disposition of 21 stores.

Albertsons said the move was part of its plan to exit markets where it is not No.1 or No.2 or sees no near term path to get to a leadership position.

The company said it will be exiting the greater Omaha marketplace immediately with the disposition of twenty-one stores located in Omaha, Bellevue, Grand Island, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa.

At the same time the company reaffirmed its 2004 earnings per share guidance from continuing operations of US$1.40 to $1.50 per diluted share.