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SUNBURY, Pa. - Weis Markets Inc. today said its third quarter sales for the period ending September 29, 2001 increased 2.7% to $498.8 million compared to the same period a year ago and that it generated $11.7 million in net income.
The Company reported $.43 in basic and diluted earnings per share in the third quarter compared to $.46 per share for the same period a year ago. During the quarter, identical store sales increased 3.2%. Part of this increase is due to a temporary change in the Allentown-Bethlehem market where SuperValu/Laneco closed 16 units. Most of these units have been since sold and reopened as supermarkets.
"In a market where the competition has increased and the economy continues to soften, we are pleased we have improved our market share,'' said Weis Markets President Norman S. Rich. "Our company's net income and earnings per share were substantially affected by a $4.0 million decline in investment income due to our stock repurchase in May. Increased employee wage and benefit costs and increased promotional expenses adversely affected our net income in the third quarter."
Rich also said that the Company continues to invest in the upgrade of its store base resulting in the opening of a new superstore in Hackettstown, N.J., the expansion of a second unit in Lebanon, Pa. and the remodel of a third unit in Shippensburg, Pa. in the third quarter. Seven other projects are currently underway. Rich noted that as a result of this expansion, 70% of the Company's stores are new, acquired, expanded or remodeled since 1995. "We continue to believe our strategy of building market share and investing in our store base will position us well for the future," he concluded.
Year to date, the Company's sales for the 39-week period ended September 29, 2001 totaled $1.48 billion compared to $1.51 billion for the same period in 2000. Year-over-year sales comparisons were affected unfavorably because of the sale of the Company's food service division, a weak economy and increasing competitive activity. In 2000, the Company's food service division generated $37.1 million in sales.
Excluding food service sales in the year-over-year comparisons, the Company's sales have increased .13%.
Founded in 1912, Weis Markets currently operates 163 stores in six states, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia. The Company also operates SuperPetz, a pet supply superstore chain operating 33 units in 11 states.