Rite Aid Reports Wider 3Q Loss

Harrisburg, Pa., Rite Aid Corp. reported Thursday that its third-quarter loss widened sharply and lowered its 2008 profit outlook for the second time this year, as leery consumers held their pocketbooks closer.

Rite Aid's chairman, president and CEO Mary Sammons said she is disappointed with the results, but that she remains pleased with progress toward integrating more than 1,850 Brooks and Eckerd stores acquired in June.

Rite Aid said its loss attributable to common shareholders was $93 million for the three months ending Dec. 1. In the same period a year ago, the company reported a loss of $6.82 million.

Sales in stores open at least a year increased 0.7%. Meanwhile, revenues for the quarter were $6.52 billion. The company said it took in $4.32 billion a year ago, which was before the acquisition.

In the quarter, the company opened 12 new stores, relocated 21 and closed or sold 64. Stores in operation at the end of the quarter totaled 5,089 in 31 states and Washington, D.C.

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