Roundy’s loss widens in competitive grocery market

Milwaukee-based grocery store operator Roundy’s Inc. reported a fiscal first quarter net loss of $4.5 million, or 12 cents lost per share, compared with a net loss of $2.3 million, or 1 cent lost per share, in the first quarter of 2014.

The company reported a quarterly operating loss of $9.9 million, compared with an operating loss of $1.1 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue totaled $862.7 million, down from $981.9 million in the first quarter of 2014.

An increase in store count, primarily in the Chicago market, contributed to an increase in operating and administrative expenses, from $218.1 million in the first quarter of 2014 to $248.8 million in the most recent quarter.

The company is facing increased competition in the Milwaukee market. It expects 13 competitive store openings in the Wisconsin markets this year, including five supercenters.  Nine of those openings are in the Milwaukee market.

“We achieved our targeted EBITDA and gross margin rate for the first quarter, which were the result of improved operational efficiencies in both our Wisconsin and Illinois stores. Due to softer than anticipated March and Easter sales, our same-store sales were below our expectations,” said Robert Mariano, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Roundy’s. “We remain committed to improving financial performance across all of our banners. Our team has embarked on a number of initiatives aimed at managing expenses and further improving our operating efficiencies and execution.”

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