NEW YORK — Fitch Ratings here said Wednesday it has affirmed Safeway's BBB rating as stable, based on the chain's broad geographic presence, strong positions in key markets, cost reduction efforts and solid cash-flow generation. Fitch said its ratings also considered the challenging competitive environement, which has led to margin compression and a gradual weakening of the chain's credit metrics over the past three years. "An increase in Safeway's financial leverage and its ...

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