Nash Finch Posts Loss for Q4, Year

MINNEAPOLIS Nash Finch here posted a loss for its fourth quarter and fiscal 2006 after several one-time charges. The company experienced fourth-quarter sales declines in both its distribution and retail divisions, while its military distribution operations continued to grow both the top and bottom lines. Fourth-quarter profit in the wholesale segment slid 14.1%, to $17.7 million, on a 2.7% decline

MINNEAPOLIS — Nash Finch here posted a loss for its fourth quarter and fiscal 2006 after several one-time charges.

The company experienced fourth-quarter sales declines in both its distribution and retail divisions, while its military distribution operations continued to grow both the top and bottom lines.

Fourth-quarter profit in the wholesale segment slid 14.1%, to $17.7 million, on a 2.7% decline in sales, to $666.5 million, vs. year-ago results. For the year, wholesale profits were down 12.2%, to $75.8 million, while sales for the full year rose 4.4%, to $2.79 billion.

In retail, the company said 16 store closures during the year and slight decreases in same-store sales helped drag down results. Fourth-quarter profits in the retail division were down 48.2%, to $4.3 million, on a 13.2% decrease in sales, to $144.1 million. For the year, retail profits slid 21.8%, to $20.8 million, on a sales decrease of 11%, to $648.9 million. Same-store sales fell 0.7% in the fourth quarter and 1.8% in the year.

Overall the company posted a loss for the 12-week fourth quarter that ended Dec. 30 of $26.4 million, vs. net income of $13.5 million in the year-ago period. Sales for the period were down 2.1%, to $1.1 billion. For the full year the loss totaled $23 million, as sales grew 1.7%, to $4.63 billion.

The charges for the quarter and year totaled $38.9 million and $63.7 million, respectively, before taxes.