COMPETITION FOSTERS WEAK SECOND-HALF RESULTS IN TOP 10

The industry hasn't turned the corner yet.

Supermarket operators' challenges are too great to engender widespread optimism from analysts, although some see indications of a possible turnaround ahead after a weak performance in the second half of 2004.

SN's own comparisons for the top 10 chains with public equity or debt showed an uptick in sales of 6.2% in the last two quarters over the same period in 2003 -- driven largely by weak comparisons for Kroger,

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