Regional US grocer Penn Traffic has said it may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection if it can obtain financing to fund operations.

The Syracuse, New York-based grocery retailer, which operates over 200 stores, has been hit by higher costs and lower sales.

Penn Traffic also said it would further delay filing its financial statements for the year to 1 February 2003 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company, which last September uncovered an accounting fraud at its bakery manufacturing division, said it was reviewing all strategic alternatives including voluntary reorganisation under bankruptcy protection, reported Reuters.