I.B.C. Q3 loss tops $67 million

by Eric Schroeder
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KANSAS CITY — Interstate Bakeries Corp. sustained a loss of $67,827,000 in the third quarter ended March 8, which compared with a loss of $42,235,000 in the same period a year earlier.

Net sales in the third quarter were $806,282,000, down 6% from $861,641,000 in the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

The company sustained an operating loss of $36,409,000 in the period, which compared with a loss of $19,666,000 in the third quarter a year ago.

During the third quarter, I.B.C. said it incurred net restructuring charges of approximately $200,000 related principally to the Southern California and sales restructuring plans initiated in fiscal 2008. Year-to-date, I.B.C. said it has incurred charges of about $8.1 million.

The quarterly report was filed April 17 by I.B.C. with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and comes less than a week before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jerry Venters has scheduled a confirmation hearing on I.B.C.’s reorganization plan.

In reporting its most recent results, I.B.C. said its route sales, formerly known as wholesale operations, were $701,787,000 in the third quarter, down 7% from $756,113,000 in the same period a year ago. The decline reflected unit volume declines, as well as reduced demand for products principally related to price increases, changes to the depth and frequency of promotional activities, and market actions by competitors. The decreases were partially offset by an overall unit value increase for the quarter related to strategic price increases and product mix changes.

In outlet sales, formerly known as retail operations, sales for the third quarter fell 10% to $83,621,000, reflecting the closing of retail outlets in conjunction with restructuring efforts and a 2% decrease in same-store sales related to the effects of retail price increases.

For the first nine months of fiscal 2008, I.B.C.’s loss was $122,981,000, which compared with a loss of $94,581,000 in the first nine months of fiscal 2007. Sales were $2,141,214,000, down from $2,217,799,000 in the same period a year ago.

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