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Safeway posts loss on writedowns


Pleasanton, Calif. Safeway reported a loss of $1.61 billion in the fourth quarter, Safeway earned $338 million in the same quarter a year earlier. The company attributed the loss to charges to write down the value of two of its supermarket chains.

Excluding the charges, which were tied to the value of Safeway’s Vons and Eastern brands, the company’s earnings were in line with analyst estimates.

Revenue fell more than 8% to $12.69 billion for Safeway, hurt in part by comparison to the prior quarter, which included an extra week. Sales were slightly higher than analyst expectations.

CEO Steve Burd said that despite the challenging economy, the company generated record cash flow of $1.5 billion for the year.

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