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    Publix Sees Earnings Increase, Drop in Comps in Third Quarter

    LAKELAND, Fla. - Publix on Friday said its sales for the third quarter of 2002 increased by 3.5 percent. The Lakeland, Fla.-based chain reported that sales reached approximately $3.8 billion, compared to last year's $3.7 billion.

    LAKELAND, Fla. - Publix on Friday said its sales for the third quarter of 2002 increased by 3.5 percent. The Lakeland, Fla.-based chain reported that sales reached approximately $3.8 billion, compared to last year's $3.7 billion.

    Net earnings also increased by 21 percent, reaching approximately $140.7 million this year. Earnings per share increased to $0.73.

    However, Publix's comparable store sales decreased by 1.1 percent.

    The figures are based on unaudited reports that will be filed later this month with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company said.

    "Again this quarter, our strong earnings growth was not enough to offset the significant stock market decline," said Publix CEO Charlie Jenkins Jr.

    Publix is owned and operated by its 120,500 employees, with 2001 sales of $15.3 billion. Currently Publix has 725 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina,
    Alabama and Tennessee.

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