Fuel rewards, inflation drive up identical-store sales at Winn-Dixie

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Retail Inflation, a strong fuelperks! rewards program and increased sales at remodeled stores helped grow identical-store sales at Winn-Dixie Stores by 3.3% during the first quarter of fiscal 2012. This increase was also aided by a 5.5% increase in basket size, but partially offset by a 2.1% decrease in transaction count. The company announced that net sales for the first quarter were $1.6 billion, an increase of $48.2 million or 3.1% compared with the same period in the prior fiscal year. 

The company reported a net loss of $24.1 million, or 43 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, an improvement from the net loss of $76.8 million, or $1.39 per diluted share, for the same period in the prior fiscal year. 

Peter Lynch, chairman, CEO, and president, said, “I am very pleased with our first quarter financial performance. We generated substantial sales and Adjusted EBITDA growth over the prior year, driven by continued positive sales growth from the previous quarter and expanded margins despite an inflationary environment. Further driving this outcome was prudent expense management and a merchandising and operational focus on delivering personal, fresh and fun experiences for our guests. In addition, we successfully grand-opened two more transformational remodeled stores that are generating promising financial results and building brand equity in their respective markets. Through the first five weeks of the second quarter, we continue to experience identical-store sales growth that has exceeded our first quarter performance, in line with our expectations.”

Winn-Dixie said it continues to expect adjusted EBITDA for fiscal 2012 to be in the range of $120 million to $135 million. Among other factors, the company’s Adjusted EBITDA guidance is based on its current expectation that identical-store sales for fiscal 2012 will increase by 2.5% to 3.5%.

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