FREEHOLD, N.J. -- Foodarama Supermarkets here posted a loss for its fiscal fourth quarter after taking a charge of about $1.2 million for the write-down of leasehold improvements at a single store.
The 26-store ShopRite operator said its loss for the 13-week period ended Oct. 30, 2004, totaled $892,000, vs. net income of $1.23 million in the year-ago fourth quarter. Sales increased about 12% for the period, to $298.64 million. Same-store sales were up 0.2% for the 22 stores open in both periods.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, also declined slightly in the fourth quarter, to $9.87 million, compared with $10.33 million in the preceding-year period.
For the full year, net income declined 21%, to $1.8 million. Sales were up about 12%, to $1.18 billion. Same-store sales increased 2% for the year. EBITDA for the full fiscal year totaled $41.53 million, up 23.5% compared with the preceding year.
In its annual 10-K report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Foodarama, which is a member of the Wakefern cooperative based in Elizabeth, N.J., said its average annual sales per store increased to $49.5 million, up from $46.8 million in the preceding fiscal year. Its average store size also increased, to 51,000 square feet from 49,000 square feet in fiscal 2003.
Annual sales per square foot of selling area declined, however, to $969,000 from $995,000 in the preceding year.
The company has been emphasizing what it calls its "World Class" store-expansion initiative, which involves opening stores that are significantly larger than conventional supermarkets and feature fresh fish on ice, service meat departments, in-store bakeries, international foods -- including Chinese, sushi and kosher sections -- prepared meals, salad bars, snack bars, bulk foods and pharmacies. Currently, 23 of the company's stores fit this profile.
In the last year, Foodarama opened two new stores, replaced two others with expanded stores, and closed one location. In addition, it acquired one store from Wakefern in June.
Capital expenditures for fiscal 2004 totaled $28.23 million, vs. $34.43 million in the preceding year, as the number of capital projects decreased.
"We believe that significant capital investment is critical to our operating strategy, and we are continuing our program to upgrade our existing stores, replace outdated locations and open new 'World Class' supermarkets within our core market area of central New Jersey," the company said in the filing.
In terms of technology, Foodarama said it has made several upgrades in 2004 and has plans for additional rollouts in 2005, including a browser-based system that will allow the company to control all its scales from a central location. The system will include a master-pricing file for all scales.