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    Weis Markets Reports 18% Decline in Fourth-quarter Profits

    SUNBURY, Pa. - Weis Markets Inc. on Friday reported that its fourth-quarter sales after adjustment increased .3 percent and identical store sales increased .4 percent compared to the same quarter last year. However, the company experienced an 18 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits.

    SUNBURY, Pa. - Weis Markets Inc. on Friday reported that its fourth-quarter sales after adjustment increased .3 percent and identical store sales increased .4 percent compared to the same quarter last year. An adjustment was made for the extra week in 2000. However, the company experienced an 18 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits.

    Weis Markets' sales reached $507.9 million for the 13-week period ending Dec. 29, 2001, compared to $546.4 million for the comparable 14-week period in 2000.

    Fourth quarter net income, which was affected by a $4.7 million decline in tax-free investment income as a result of the company's stock buyback last year, totaled $12.5 million compared to $15.2 million for the same period in 2000. Current fourth quarter basic and diluted earnings per share increased to $.46 compared to $.36 per share for the same period in 2000.

    "Our net income was affected by increasing employee benefit costs, a decline in investment income as a result of our stock buyback last year and other one-time costs associated with the buyback. Despite these challenges, we have worked hard over the past year to build on our strengths," said Norman S. Rich, Weis Markets' president. "Over the past twelve months, we have launched a new advertising campaign, increased our promotional spending and continued to make significant investments in our store base and in technology. We believe our company is well-positioned in the coming year as the economy begins to improve."

    Founded in 1912, Weis Markets currently operates 163 stores in six states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia. Weis Markets also owns SuperPetz, a pet supply superstore chain with 33 units in eleven states.

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