Tops swings to 4Q, full-year profit

April 2, 2012 Updated Apr 2, 2012 at 6:39 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

...
April 2, 2012 Updated Apr 2, 2012 at 6:39 AM EDT

The parent of Tops Markets LLC reported a fourth-quarter and full-year profit on Friday as the Buffalo area's largest supermarket chain also saw an increase in sales.

Net income for the fourth quarter was $1.18 million compared to a loss of $13.77 million in the same period of 2010.

Amherst-based Tops Holding Corp. said sales improved 1.7 percent to $540.1 million from $530.8 million.

Unlike 2010 when Tops' bottom line was saddled with absorption costs related to purchasing the financially-ailing Penn Traffic chain of supermarkets, the grocer was able focus much of last year on growing existing market shares, its on-going store renovation program and strategic purchases of existing family-owned markets in places like suburban Rochester.

"Our operating income increased more than 540 percent this year, which was a direct result of our ability to successfully integrate Penn Traffic into the Tops business model while effectively maintaining cost discipline and implementing operating efficiencies throughout our organization," said Rick Mills, Tops senior vice president and chief financial officer. "As a result, we have enhanced our cash-generating capability, strengthened our balance sheet and positioned the company for future expansion."

Net income for all of 2011 was $5.8 million compared with a net loss of $26.9 million in 2010, directly related to the Penn Traffic acquisition.

Full-year sales the Tops rose 4.3 percent to $2.36 billion from $2.26 billion the previous year.

Tops operates 124 full-service supermarkets in Western and Central New York and Northern Pennsylvania and has five franchised outlets.

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