Rite Aid narrows loss in Q1, beats Street

Harrisburg, Pa. Rite Aid Corp. said Wednesday that it narrowed its losses in the fiscal first quarter. The drugstore operator posted a smaller-than-expected loss of $73.7 million in the quarter ended May 29, compared with a loss of $98.4 million a year earlier.

Sales dropped 2.1% to $6.39 billion due to store closures and a fall in same-store sales. The loss tightening was due to lower expenses related to the store closings.

Rite Aid same-store sales dipped 1% in the quarter.

Rite Aid "continued to improve operational efficiency to help offset the challenging economic and competitive environment impacting sales and margin," said Mary Sammons, chairman and CEO, in a statement.

The results come a day after rival Walgreens posted a lower-than-expected profit.

Rite Aid's president and COO, John Standley, will become president and CEO following Wednesday's annual shareholder meeting, as previously announced. Sammons will remain chairman until the June 2012 meeting.

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