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HomeNewsArchivesPUEBLO EXEC SAYS V.I. OPERATIONS FINANCIALLY FINE

PUEBLO EXEC SAYS V.I. OPERATIONS FINANCIALLY FINE

Sept. 27, 2002 – Despite a recent national report about financial troubles at their parent company, an executive of Pueblo Supermarkets and Blockbuster Video says all is well with the chains' stores in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Earlier this week the financial news service PR Newswire announced a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by Nutritional Sourcing Corp. The subsidiaries of NSC include Xtra Superfood Centers Inc., which operates supermarkets and Blockbuster video stores on St. Thomas and St. Croix. NSC also operates in Puerto Rico, doing business as Pueblo International and Pueblo Entertainment.
Melissa Lammers, a Pueblo International senior vice president, said on Friday that NSC filed for bankruptcy protection after Pueblo missed a debt repayment last month. That led to the parent company missing an interest payment to its bondholders. Earlier press reports said the company would use the bankrupcy process to develop a reorganization plan in an attempt to relieve a heavy debt burden.
Lammers said those financial issues are having no effect on retail operations in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. "Pueblo is doing fine and is not a party to the Chapter 11 at all; so, nothing will change at Pueblo," she said.
Six Pueblo supermarkets and two Blockbuster stores operate in the Virgin Islands, while 41 Pueblo supermarkets and 39 video stores are doing business in Puerto Rico, she said, and a new flagship Pueblo store is scheduled to open next month in Isla Verde.
Lammers said the local stores are "enjoying increased profits," with supermarket revenues rising in the past nine months and video sales showing an increase in recent weeks.
National financial reports cautioned, however, that the NSC restructuring might not succeed in reversing that company's financial situation. As uncertainties, they cited "substantial indebtedness," local market competition and the question of whether bondholders would be willing to accept a refinancing plan.

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