MAUMEE, Ohio -- Seaway Food Town here reported a loss and decreased sales for the first quarter ended Nov. 27.
rter. Sales fell 5.6% in the quarter to $132.5 million. Same-store sales declined 3.5%.
The loss included an extraordinary item of $256,000 related to a change in tax accounting and two other one-time expenses. The one-time charges covered a $196,000 reserve for payment of union contract ratification bonuses and a $96,000 write-off of canceled real estate-related projects.
Operating profit totaled $691,000 for the quarter, compared with an operating loss of $108,000 a year ago. This was a result of Seaway's initiatives to contain costs and gain efficiencies, said Richard B. Iott, president.
At the company's annual meeting here earlier this month, Iott attributed the losses in Seaway's last two quarters to new competition from nontraditional competitors.
"Irrespective of the tumultuous conditions locally, as well as the adverse conditions in the supermarket industry nationally, Food Town continues to be extremely confident of its ability to maintain its position as a strong viable competitor in all its markets," he told shareholders.
Seaway nearly doubled its capital investments last year to $17.4 million, compared with $9.8 million a year earlier, Iott said.
"Some of this capital improvement has gone toward the development of new corporate information systems designed to help us manage our business more intelligently and more cost efficiently," he said. Seaway plans to open a new 55,000-square-foot Food Town Plus in Monroe, Mich., and to expand existing Food Town stores in Temperance, Mich., and Fostoria, Ohio, later this year. It also plans to open a new Pharm Deep Discount Drugstore in Fostoria during the second quarter.