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Fred's Reports 4Q Loss on Charges

Memphis, Tenn. Fred's Inc. said Thursday it swung to a fiscal fourth-quarter loss due to shrinking sales and charges for closing 75 stores and 22 pharmacies.

Fred's loss was $4.4 million in the three months ended Feb. 2, compared to a profit of $9.2 million in the year-ago period.

The most recent quarter included $9.9 million in charges for store closures. Fred's also experienced a 2.5% drop in same-store sales and a 2% drop in adjusted overall sales. Fred's total fourth-quarter sales were $494.1 million, down 8% from $535.6 million in the year-ago period, which had an extra week because of a calendar shift.

For the full year, Fred's profit dropped nearly 60% to $10.7 million from $26.7 million. Revenue edged up to $1.78 billion from $1.77 billion.

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