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SUNBURY, Pa. -- Weis Markets, Inc. here yesterday said third-quarter sales rose 4.1 percent, to $557.2 million, and comps grew 3.2 percent over the same period of last year. However, during the quarter the retailer's net income slipped by 15.4 percent, to $11.6 million.
Weis Markets basic and diluted earnings per share decreased eight cents to 43 cents per share for the 13-week period ending Sept. 30.
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Weis said that sales, especially in perishable departments, continued to benefit from a new ad campaign and promotional programs. Sales in some key center store categories also grew, the chain said.
Weis laid the blame for the decline in net income, meanwhile, on factors including a 5.9 percent uptick in labor expenses, which it said were considerably affected by additional staffing requirements for eight remodels and one new store; a 27.1 percent jump in diesel fuel costs, plus an estimated 15 percent increase in the cost of petroleum-based store supplies; and a 13.6 percent rise in credit and debit interchange fees.
Weis also said a $1.2 million pretax write-off for a closed store, and a $417,000 expense for an environmental remediation on a nonstore property, contributed to the earnings shortfall.
Year-to-date, sales rose 2.9 percent to $1.7 billion, while comparable-store sales grew 2.0 percent. Net income fell 6.8 percent, to $42.0 million, however, and year-to-date basic and diluted earnings per share decreased 12 cents, to $1.55 per share.
Weis operates 156 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia. The retailer additionally owns and operates SuperPetz, a pet supply superstore chain with 31 locations in 10 states.