US grocery wholesaler and retailer Fresh Brands has revised its third-quarter earnings, after raising a charge on potentially uncollectable franchisee receivables.

Fresh Brand said the company had decided to raise its pre-tax charge from US$0.34m to $0.55m.

Earlier this month the company posted third-quarter earnings of $1.02m, or 20 cents a share. The revised charge slashes earnings to $0.68m, or 14 cents a share, reported Dow Jones News Service.

Chief executive Elwood F Winn said franchisee continued to be affected by competition and weakness in consumer purchases.

“Unfortunately, we see no immediate relief in sight and it is likely that these trends will continue and may even intensify in the fourth quarter,” Winn was quoted by Dow Jones as saying.