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    Harris Teeter Boosts Ruddick Corp.'s 3Q Results

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Ruddick Corp., parent company of the regional Harris Teeter supermarket chain, late last week reported that consolidated sales for its third fiscal quarter ended June 27 grew 2.6 percent to $703 million from $685 million in the prior-year quarter.

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Ruddick Corp., parent company of the regional Harris Teeter supermarket chain, late last week reported that consolidated sales for its third fiscal quarter ended June 27 grew 2.6 percent to $703 million from $685 million in the prior-year quarter.

    For the nine months ended June 27, sales of $2.10 billion were 2.3 percent above the $2.05 billion for the comparable period last year. The rise in sales for the quarter resulted partly from sales improvements at Harris Teeter. Sales increases at Harris Teeter resulted primarily from comparable store-sales increases.

    For the third quarter of fiscal 2004, Harris Teeter sales rose 2.8 percent to $625.3 million from $608.1 million in the comparable 2003 period. The third-quarter increase in sales was attributable to a 3.02 percent increase in comparable-store sales and was partially offset by the loss of sales from the net store closures since the comparable 2003 period. For the first nine months of fiscal 2004, sales rose 3.1 percent to $1.88 billion from $1.83 billion in the same period of fiscal 2003. Comparable-store sales for the first nine months of fiscal 2004 went up 2.27 percent.

    According to a statement from Ruddick, Harris Teeter's operating profit and margin improvements were achieved mostly through continued growth in comparable-store sales and the effective management of operational costs and promotional strategies.

    Thomas W. Dickson, Ruddick president and c.e.o., said in the statement: "We are pleased with our overall gains in market share within our primary markets. These gains are reflective of our focus on providing all of our customers with a superior shopping experience. We are also very pleased with the gains we've experienced from our recent launch of the Harris Teeter Farmers Market for produce and the Harris Teeter Fishermans Market for seafood private label programs. Both of these programs experienced sales increases greater than the company average. During the quarter we launched our Harris Teeter Reserve Angus Beef program. All of these programs are designed to expand variety and increase sales as well as customer satisfaction."

    Harris Teeter, which operates in six Southeastern states, says it hopes to open eleven new stores next year.

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