WAYNE, N.J. -- Grand Union Holdings Corp. here said operating cash flow declined 2% to $43.5 million in the third quarter ended Jan. 8.
sales in the 12-week quarter. In last year's third quarter, cash flow was $44.4 million, or 6.7% of sales.
GUHC said sales totaled $584 million in the quarter compared with $661 million in the year-ago period. Year-ago results, however, include the company's former Big Star stores in Atlanta.
Excluding the Big Star results, sales in the current quarter increased 0.7%. GUHC sold the 48-store Big Star operation to A&P, Montvale, N.J., early in 1993.
GUHC is the indirect parent of Grand Union Co., a 253-store supermarket chain operating in seven Northeastern states.
Gary D. Hirsch, chairman, said Grand Union's operating cash-flow margin of 7.5% of sales "is one of the strongest percentages within the retail food industry." During the third quarter, the company opened three new stores and one replacement unit and completed two enlargements and five remodels, Hirsch said.
GUHC reported cash interest expense of $32.9 million and $109.2 million in the third quarter and 40-week period, respectively. Interest expense was the prime contributor to a net loss in both periods.