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JACKSONVILLE, FL-Looking to continue to gain market share, Winn-Dixie Stores is maintaining its store remodeling program at 75 stores per year. Nor did the company rule out acquiring some shuttered Bruno’s locations, executives said at the company’s third-quarter conference call.

By the end of the fiscal year, the grocer will have remodeled 170 of its 520 stores, with plans to have completed renovations on roughly half its units by the end of fiscal 2010 and substantially all of its stores by the end of fiscal 2013. Renovations are proceeding by market, said Chairman, CEO and President, Peter Lynch.

“These defensive models are protecting our market share,” Lynch said. Detailed capital expenditures for 2010 should be revealed in June.

The bankruptcy of competitor Bruno’s and resulting store closures also are helping increase the chain’s market share. It may also increase Winn-Dixie’s store count, depending on their location, Lynch added.

“If the stores were at the right price, we would look,” Lynch said. “That said, there are at least 16 of our stores that should have a positive uptick from the closing of those [competing] Bruno’s.”

Net sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2009 were $1.7 billion, an increase of $3.1 million compared to the prior year period. Identical-store sales from continuing operations increased 0.2%. Net income was $16.6 million, compared to net income of $15 million in the prior-year quarter.

Net sales for the 40 weeks ended April 1, 2009, were $5.7 billion, up $61.2 million compared to the same period in the prior fiscal year. Identical store sales from continuing operations increased 1.0%. Net income for the 40 weeks of fiscal 2009 was $30.4 million, compared to net income of $18.3 million in the prior fiscal year.

Winn-Dixie Stores currently operates 520 retail grocery locations, including more than 400 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi.

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