SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Bob Panasuk, the newly named president and chief executive officer of Penn Traffic here, said initiatives launched late last year were progressing as planned and declared “this year is about rebuilding the fundamentals of this company.”
Panasuk's remarks came last week during a conference call during which Penn Traffic executives reviewed unaudited financial results for the 48- and nine-week periods that ended Dec. 30. The retailer, which remains under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for past accounting practices, has not provided audited financial statements since before going into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2002.
In October, Panasuk, along with Gregory Young, chief operating officer, detailed plans to bring more accountability and better performance to Penn Traffic. Since that meeting the company has announced plans to close seven stores and one warehouse, while launching programs to migrate sales where possible to other area stores it operates. The company was also able to sell one store to a new wholesale customer.
The company showed a profit of $86,000 on sales of $225 million through the last nine weeks that ended Dec. 30, though same-store sales decreased by 3.1% compared with the eight-week period that ended the same date a year ago.
For the 48-week period ending Dec. 30, Penn Traffic reported a loss of $4.1 million on $1.2 billion in sales. The loss when adjusted for one-time items was $1 million. Same-store sales for the period decreased by 1.9%.
In response to a question, Panasuk said Penn Traffic was “open to communication” with potential strategic partners, but suggested little had progressed in that regard.
“We've had phone calls,” he said, “but I wouldn't call them conversations.”