US grocery chain Winn-Dixie Stores revealed today sales and operating results for its third quarter of fiscal 2001. The chain is one of the nation’s largest retail food chains controlling over 1,155 outlets.


Sales fell during Q3 of 2001, as the company closed its more unprofitable departments, such as dry cleaners, or salad bars and reduced the number of stores that are open 24 hours. Sales fell by 5.7% compared to the same period last year, down US$183m to US$3bn. Individual store sales also fell, by 5.3% for the quarter and 4.2% for the year to date.


In April last year, the “Plan of Restructuring” was adopted by the board of directors, calling for the refit of nearly 700 stores during this year at the estimated cost of US$144m. Restructuring charges in the Q3 aloe amounted to US$44.5m and for the fiscal year-to-date, US$90.7m has been spent.


Without taking into account these charges, net earnings for Q3 reached US$39m, or US$0.28 per diluted share. This compares favourably with the results for the same quarter last year, of US$10.3m in earnings, and US$0.07 per diluted share. For the year-to-date, net earnings reached US$91m, or US$0.65 per diluted share, and this also compares well to last year’s US$54.7m, or $0.37 per diluted share. 


President and CEO of the group Al Rowland commented in a statement: “We are pleased with the progress of our restructuring program.  We have completed 426 store retrofits with an approximate return on capital of 50%.  This is in line with our expectations and our projected results. […] Our focus now is on improving store operations and customer count, which will improve sales.”


By the end of this year, the company plans to have opened a further 19 new stores, acquired 77 and remodelled 12 existing outlets.


Third Quarter
Dollars in thousands except per share data

































































































 
12 Weeks Ended April 4, 2001

12 Weeks Ended April 5, 2000
 
Amount

%

Amount

%
Sales
$ 3,016,312

100.0

3,199,356

100.0
Cost of sales
2,202,483

73.0

2,333,937

73.0
Gross profit
813,829

27.0

865,419

27.0
Operating & administrative expenses
737,392

24.4

841,809

26.3
Restructuring and other non-recurring charges
44,542

1.5


Operating income
31,895

1.1

23,610

0.7
Interest expense
14,457

0.5

6,907

0.2
Earnings before income taxes
17,438

0.6

16,703

0.5
Income taxes
6,714

0.2

6,430

0.2
Net earnings
$ 10,724

0.4

10,273

0.3
Basic earnings per share
$ 0.08


0.07

Diluted earnings per share
$ 0.08


0.07

Dividends per share
$ 0.255


0.255

Number of stores
1,155


1,189


Fiscal Year-to-Date
Dollars in thousands except per share data



























































































 
40 Weeks Ended April 4, 2001

40 Weeks Ended April 5, 2000
 
Amount

%

Amount

%
Sales
$ 9,913,512

100.0

10,637,551

100.0
Cost of sales
7,291,670

73.6

7,732,859

72.7
Gross profit
2,621,842

26.4

2,904,692

27.3
Operating & administrative expenses
2,440,521

24.6

2,792,934

26.2
Restructuring and other non-recurring charges
90,748

0.9


Operating income
90,573

0.9

111,758

1.1
Interest expense
38,043

0.4

40,297

0.4
Earnings before income taxes
52,530

0.5

71,461

0.7
Income taxes
20,224

0.2

57,912

0.6
Net earnings
$ 32,306

0.3

13,549

0.1
Basic earnings per share
$ 0.23


0.09

Diluted earnings per share
$ 0.23


0.09

Dividends per share
$ 0.765


0.765