In assigning newly reorganized and private company A&P a B- credit rating and negative outlook last week, Standard and Poor’s said the company should be able to maintain adequate liquidity and improve its overall performance in the coming years, but will still lag competitors’ operating metrics and be vulnerable to sales declines and a slow economy.

S&P projected sales for A&P, which recently emerged from federal bankruptcy, to improve by 2-3% in 2013. However, S&P also said that “even in our most optimistic expected performance scenarios, we would expect the company’s credit ratios to remain in line with indicative ratios of highly leveraged financial risk profiles.”

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