WOODBRIDGE, N.J. -- Pathmark Stores here reported net income of $9.3 million in the second quarter ended July 30, which marked a turnaround from a loss in last year's second quarter.
an doubled in the quarter, rising from $22.3 million in the year-ago period to $49.6 million, Pathmark said.
Operating cash flow also rose significantly during the quarter, to $66.2 million, or 6.5% of sales. This compared with cash flow (earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation) of $39.3 million, or 3.9% of sales, in the year-ago period.
Jack Futterman, chairman and chief executive officer, said the company was pleased about the "continued improvement" in its bottom-line earnings.
"We introduced a new merchandising program in the quarter called 'Smart Coupons,' which has met with good early customer acceptance," he said.
Sales in the 13-week quarter increased 2.2% to $1.02 billion and same-store sales rose 3.5%. Pathmark, which operates 140 supermarkets and 35 freestanding drug stores, also continues to move ahead on its store-renovation program, Futterman said. By year's end, the company expects to have 29 "Pathmark 2000" prototype supermarkets. Currently, 15 such stores are operating.
"During the first half of this year, 11 major renovations and enlargements were completed and 18 additional such projects are under, or about to start, construction," he said. "Our four new 1994 supermarkets are currently under construction and projected to open in the fourth quarter."
Bob Lupo, a high-yield analyst with PaineWebber, New York, said Pathmark's earnings increase was partially attributable to an easier comparison with last year's second quarter, when a strike affected 53 of its supermarkets.