Strike erodes Safeway's earnings in 4Q

Strike erodes Safeway's earnings in 4Q

Safeway Inc reported a net loss of $695.9 million ($1.57 per share) for the 17-week fourth quarter ended Jan 3, 2004. Its results were affected by the ongoing Southern California grocery clerk strike, the impact of which Safeway estimates to be $0.23 per share.

Total sales increased to $11.0 billion, a 3% improvement from $10.7 billion in fourth-quarter 2002, primarily due to the additional week in 2003, new store openings, and additional fuel sales, and partly offset by the impact of this strike.

"Overall, we are pleased with the operating results that we achieved in the quarter despite a challenging environment," said Steve Burd, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of the Pleasanton CA-based supermarket chain, the nation's third-largest.

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