Rite Aid sees more losses despite sales gains

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rite Aid Corp's <RAD.N> sales at its established drugstores rose over the most recent quarter but the company forecast another loss this fiscal year despite the expectation of further sales gains.

The third-largest U.S. drugstore operator reported a net loss of $205.7 million, or 24 cents per share, compared with a loss of $208.4 million, or 24 cents per share, for the same quarter a year ago, in line with analyst estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales were $6.46 billion, down slightly from a year ago. Sales at stores open at least a year were up 0.9 percent, helped by a 1 percent increase in sales of general merchandise.

Rite Aid expects a first full year loss of between $370 million and $560 million, or 42 cents and 64 cents per share, and for sales at established drugstores to rise between 0.5 percent and 2 percent.

Its shares were up 1 cent to $1.07 in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Derek Caney)