Newswatch

Affiliated Foods Southwest here has completely shut down its operations and is seeking to convert its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization into a Chapter 7 liquidation. In a court filing last week, AFS said it was unable to secure liability and workman's compensation insurance beyond July 17, and therefore terminated all remaining employees at that

ARKANSAS WHOLESALER SEEKS CHAPTER 7

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Affiliated Foods Southwest here has completely shut down its operations and is seeking to convert its Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization into a Chapter 7 liquidation. In a court filing last week, AFS said it was unable to secure liability and workman's compensation insurance beyond July 17, and therefore terminated all remaining employees at that time. The co-op had already sold off its inventory and had been trying to sell other assets since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May. Associated Wholesale Grocers, Kansas City, Kan., had previously acquired product inventory from AFS and has taken over distribution for several former AFS customers. An AWG spokesman said it was not picking up any additional assets as a result of the liquidation. Neither AFS nor its attorneys could be reached for further comment.

WINN-DIXIE'S OUTLOOK IMPROVING

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Winn-Dixie Stores here last week raised its previously issued guidance on adjusted EBITDA for 2009 by nearly 8%, and said it expects results to continue to improve next year. Peter Lynch, chairman, president and chief operating officer, told SN the company was releasing the numbers a month prior to its fourth-quarter conference call “because we exceeded our guidelines for this year by so much and achieving that gives us improved guidance for fiscal 2010.” The company said it is increasing adjusted EBITDA guidance to $164 million, exceeding the high end of $152 million in its previous range. The company said the increase was due primarily to a higher gross profit margin achieved in the fourth quarter and a reduction in its estimated annual LIFO charge.

BI-LO POSTS $1.3M PROFIT IN JUNE

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Bi-Lo Holdings here reported a net profit of $1.3 million on sales of $202.6 million in the four weeks that ended June 20. The unaudited figures were included in a monthly operating report as part of the retailer's Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings last week. Sales and profits were down slightly as compared to the previous four weeks ending May 23, court records show, with gross profits falling to 25.8% of sales vs. 26.4% in the May period. The report showed EBITDA of $11.9 million in June as opposed to $12.7 million in May.

WEIS MARKETS Q2 EARNINGS UP 18.5%

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets here credited investments in its sales program for driving improvements in sales and net income during the fiscal second quarter ending June 27. Net earnings improved 18.5% to $15.2 million, on a 2% sales increase to $615.4 million. Comparable-store sales were up by 2.4%, the retailer said last week. For the 26-week year to date, Weis' net income increased 44.9% to $31.7 million on sales of $1.2 billion.

FOOD LION MOVES NORTH IN DELAWARE

SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion plans to open three stores in New Castle County, Del., by the end of this year, marking the retailer's first foray into the Greater Wilmington area. The stores are set to open in Claymont, New Castle and Bear beginning next month. A Food Lion spokeswoman declined to say if the chain planned further northern expansion to Philadelphia or southern New Jersey, but in a statement told SN, “As always, we continually evaluate market opportunities in the regions in which we operate, such as the new stores in Delaware.” Food Lion operates several stores in southern Delaware.