OKLAHOMA CITY -- Fleming Cos. here said increased competition resulted in flat sales growth in the year ended Dec. 2. Net earnings declined 68.8% for the year, primarily as a result of restructuring charges.
he fourth quarter Fleming reported a loss of $49.3 million. The loss in the quarter was due to charges of $62 million for restructuring and $2.3 million for early debt retirement.
As part of the restructuring, Fleming, as reported, said it anticipates consolidating an unspecified number of grocery and general merchandise distribution centers and cutting its work force by at least 2,000 people, or 9%, over the next several months.
Robert E. Stauth, president and chief executive officer, said Fleming's tonnage shipped was "essentially flat" in 1993.
"Intense retail competition in 1993 and a lack of food-price inflation were the major factors contributing to our small sales increase," he said. Stauth said Fleming would continue a "comprehensive reassessment" of its operations, with the aim of developing larger, more productive distribution centers and eliminating functions and operations that do not add value.
Brooks O'Neil, a securities analyst at Piper Jaffray, Minneapolis, said the results were "pretty much" as Fleming had projected.