US supermarket chain Winn-Dixie has said it expects fourth-quarter earnings before some one-time items to be lower than previously forecast because of weak sales.

The revised forecast excludes a US$7.7m payment to chief executive Al Rowland, who is to retire before the end of the fiscal year, and a $28m reduction in income tax expense.

Florida-based Winn-Dixie said it expects sales at stores open for more than a year to drop 3-4% in the fourth quarter to 25 June. The company has forecast fourth-quarter earning per share of between 28 cents and 31 cents, lower than its previous forecast of between 35 cents and 39 cents per share.