JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Investments in promotional programs to attract value-oriented shoppers increased sales, but margins and earnings fell “well below expectations” for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 25 at Winn-Dixie, the company said in a statement Thursday. “Although we grew sales during the fourth quarter, our promotional activity had a negative impact on both gross margin and adjusted EBITDA, causing us to fall below our earnings guidance range for the year,” Peter Lynch, chief executive officer, said in a statement. Preliminary financial results, pending an audit, pegged EBITDA of $9 million for the quarter, compared to $29.1 million in the same period a year ago and a net loss of $5 million vs. a profit of $20.6 million a year ago. Yearly EBITDA of $101 million is below the company’s previously stated expectations of $105 million to $125 million. Gross margin as a percentage of sales for the quarter decreased by 1%, to 26.9%, due mainly to heavily promoted “Stretch Your Check” and “10 for $10” deals at stores, the company said.
Read More of Today's Headlines