JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Winn-Dixie Stores  here posted a loss of about $18 million for its second fiscal quarter in what was likely its last report as a publicly traded company.
The retailer said sales for the 16-week period, which ended Jan. 11, were up 2.3% over year-ago results, to $2.14 billion, including identical-store sales gains of 2.5%, driven largely by inflation. Basket sizes grew 4.2%, and identical-store transactions fell 1.6%. The loss in the year-ago period totaled $24 million.
As previously reported, Winn-Dixie agreed in December to be acquired by Bi-Lo  for about $560 million. That transaction is expected to close within the next few weeks.
In addition to inflation, Winn-Dixie said sales growth in the quarter was also driven by its fuelperks rewards program, computer-generated ordering initiatives and gains at remodeled stores.
For the 28-week, year-to-date period, Winn-Dixie posted a loss of $42.1 million, vs. a loss of $100.8 million in the year-ago period. Sales through 28 weeks were up 2.7%, to $3.73 billion.