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    Publix Turns In Solid Q4, Year-End Performance

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- Regional chain Publix Super Markets here turned in another solid quarter to cap a very good year, and provide clear evidence of why value of its non-traded stock has jumped over 25 percent in the last year.

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- Regional chain Publix Super Markets here turned in another solid quarter to cap a very good year, and provide clear evidence of why value of its non-traded stock has jumped over 25 percent in the last year.

    Sales for the 14-week fourth quarter of 2005 were approximately $5.7 billion, a 20.1 percent increase from $4.8 billion in last year's 13-week period, Publix said. The additional week in the fourth quarter of 2005 boosted sales by approximately 8.1 percent, the retailer said.

    Comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter jumped 9.1 percent, which Publix said includes an estimated increase 1.5 percent due to the volume impact of Hurricane Wilma.

    Net earnings for the fourth quarter were 26.6 percent higher, at approximately $294.9 million, compared to $232.9 million in 2004. Earnings per share increased to $1.74, up from $1.34 per share in 2004. Net earnings and earnings per share also benefited from the extra week in the fourth quarter of 2005, Publix said.

    The chain's sales for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, a 53-week fiscal year, were $20.6 billion, up 11 percent increase from last year's $18.6 billion, which was a 52-week year. The additional week in 2005 helped sales by approximately 2.1 percent. Comps for 2005 increased 5.4 percent.

    Net earnings for the year were approximately $989.2 million, up 20.7 percent from $819.4 million in 2004. Earnings per share hit $5.75 for 2005, bettering last year's $4.64 per share.

    Based on the most recent appraisal, Publix's stock price increased $3.25 from $77.25 per share to $80.50 per share. Publix stock is not publicly traded, and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.

    "I'm very pleased that our excellent operating performance resulted in another increase in our stock price," said c.e.o. Charlie Jenkins Jr. in a statement. "I want to thank our associates for continuing to deliver premier customer service which resulted in an increase in our stock price of over 25 percent in the last year."

    Publix is owned and operated by its 135,000 employees and has 876 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee.

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