January 8, 2008 / 12:53 PM / 10 years ago

Grocer A&P 3rd-qtr profit up on gains

(Reuters) - Supermarket chain Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co GAP.N on Tuesday posted a 41 percent rise in third-quarter profit, boosted by a large gain from the sale of its stake in Canada’s Metro Inc MRUa.TO.

Adjusting continuing operations for net restructuring costs, the recent acquisition of Pathmark Stores and real estate related activity, the company posted a loss of $12.1 million, compared with a loss of $17.7 million, last year.

Analysts on average had expected a loss of 58 cents a share, excluding exceptional items, according to Reuters Estimates.

Great Atlantic & Pacific, the parent of A&P grocery stores, reported quarterly profit of $57.3 million, or $1.35 a share, compared with $40.7 million, or 97 cents a share, last year.

Sales were nearly flat at $1.25 billion, while sales at stores open at least a year rose 3.1 percent.

In November of last year, Montvale, New Jersey-based A&P sold its stake in Metro to fund the Pathmark acquisition and reported a gain of $106.1 million in the latest third quarter.

The company’s stock closed at $29.14 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Dilipp S. Nag in Bangalore; Editing by Amitha Rajan

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