WINN-DIXIE CITES COMPETITION IN 4TH-QUARTER SALES DECLINE

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Winn-Dixie here said it would invest heavily in pricing and promotions in 2004, a move that it expects will wipe out its first-quarter profits and reduce earnings for the year to 20% below analysts' previous estimates.The company said highly aggressive pricing by competitors, especially traditional supermarket chains, led the company to post same-store sales declines of 4.5%

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Winn-Dixie here said it would invest heavily in pricing and promotions in 2004, a move that it expects will wipe out its first-quarter profits and reduce earnings for the year to 20% below analysts' previous estimates.

The company said highly aggressive pricing by competitors, especially traditional supermarket chains, led the company to post same-store sales declines of 4.5% in the 12-week fourth quarter ended June 25. Without the benefits of the later Easter ho

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