JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Winn-Dixie Stores here said yesterday it is raising previously issued guidance on adjusted EBITDA for 2009 by nearly 8%, and 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.”
For the fiscal year that ended June 30, Winn-Dixie said it expects to report sales of approximately $7.4 billion, up 1.2% from $7.3 billion a year earlier, with identical-store sales from continuing operations up 1.2% and gross margins of approximately 28.5%, compared with 27.2% a year earlier.
The company said it is increasing adjusted EBITDA guidance to approximately $164 million, exceeding the high end of $152 million in its previous range of guidance. The company said the increase was due primarily to a higher gross profit margin achieved in the fourth quarter and a reduction in the estimated annual LIFO charge of $15 million, compared with its previous estimate of $19 million.
Adjusted EBITDA for fiscal 2010 is expected to fall in the range of $170 million to $180 million — an increase of between 3.7% and 9.8% — which the company said is based on expectations that identical-store sales next year will be in the range of 1%-2%; gross margins will be slightly higher next year; and the full-year LIFO charge is expected to be approximately $10 million.
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