Safeway Q4 Comps Down 0.8%

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway here on Thursday said it returned to a profit in the fiscal fourth quarter after one-time charges in the year-ago period, although identical-store sales dipped 0.8%.

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway [2] here on Thursday said it returned to a profit in the fiscal fourth quarter after one-time charges in the year-ago period, although identical-store sales dipped 0.8%.

Net income for the 16-week quarter, which ended Jan. 1, totaled $229.6 million, vs. a loss of $1.61 billion in the year-ago fourth quarter after a goodwill impairment charge of $1.97 billion. Sales in the recent quarter were up about 0.8%, to $12.8 billion, driven by higher fuel sales and a favorable Canadian exchange rate.

For the year Safeway posted net income of $589.8 million, down about 18% from 2009 after adjusting for the goodwill charge. Revenues for 2010 rose about 0.5%, to $41 billion.