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SUNBURY, Pa. -- Weis Markets said yesterday its first quarter sales increased 5.6 percent to $549.7 million, and its identical store sales rose 5.3 percent compared to the same period in 2004.
During the thirteen-week period ended March 26, the chain's basic and diluted earnings per share increased $.02 to $.62 per share, and its net income increased 3.3 percent to $16.8 million.
Weis said the increases were the result of "sustained and cost-effective promotional activity" in its core trade areas. The grocer also said it continues to see increases in key center store and perishable categories. Weis Markets' first quarter also benefited from the Easter holiday period, which fell in the second quarter last year.
The company's income from operations for the quarter was up 12.5 percent. In 2004, the its first quarter net income was affected by a pre-tax net gain of $1.5 million from the sale of fixed assets, predominantly from the sale of a closed store facility.
"Our sales and earnings benefited from more than just our strong Easter sales period and a favorable calendar comparison," said Norman S. Rich, Weis Markets' president and c.e.o., in a statement. "Our stores performed consistently throughout the period and there is an underlying strength to our first quarter performance."
Founded in 1912, Weis Markets operates 157 stores in six states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia. The company also operates 33 SuperPetz units in eleven states.