SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Penn Traffic Co. here said the acquisition of 45 Acme Markets during the last two weeks of the fourth quarter spurred sales increases for the quarter and year ended Jan. 28. Sales rose 5.1% to $3.3 billion for the year and 1.7% to $859.4 million for the 13-week fourth quarter.
Net income was $13.2 million for the year, compared with a loss of $17.8 million a year ago. Earnings for the year were after a $3 million extraordinary charge related to early retirement of debt and a $5.8 million charge related to an accounting change.
Net income for the quarter jumped 64% to $8.1 million. Earnings for the quarter were after an inventory charge of $2.3 million.
According to Gary D. Hirsch, Penn Traffic chairman, "The current year's fourth-quarter results were adversely impacted by a decrease in same-store sales during January. The prior year's results were unusually strong because of a very strong January sales period caused by severe weather." Gary Giblen, managing director of Smith Barney, New York, said "It's clear that Penn Traffic is seeing tougher competition impacting its niche strategy of opening stores in small towns with limited competition, now that it's going more head-to-head against Wegmans, Tops and Kroger." Penn Traffic operates 267 stores in Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and West Virginia and is a wholesaler for 124 licensed franchises and 120 independent operators. It has six new or replacement stores under construction and three major remodels/expansions in progress.