US food distributor and retailer Nash Finch has reported a second-quarter net loss due to the impact of store closures and disposals.

The company posted a net loss of US$15.6m, or $1.26 per share, for the second quarter to 19 June 2004, compared to net earnings of $7.3m, or 61 cents per share, in the same quarter of last year. Total sales for the second quarter of 2004 were $906.4m versus $888.6m in the prior-year period.

Results were affected by an after-tax special charge of $22.3m, or $1.80 per share, related to store disposals, and $2.0m, or 16 cents per share, in after-tax costs related to store closures.

On 19 May the company announced that it would exit its Buy n Save and Avanza retail formats, closing its five Buy n Save outlets and three Avanza outlets located in Chicago and Pueblo, Colorado. At that time, the company also said it planned to sell its three Denver area Avanza stores and to close ten conventional outlets, primarily operating under the EconoFoods banner. The company said it completed the 18 store closures near the end of the second quarter.

Nash Finch said that excluding the special charges related to store closures, results were in line with the company’s expectations.