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Although the later Easter this year and a mild winter impacted net income, Weis Markets Inc. reported sales increases and its 12th consecutive quarter of higher comparable-store sales during quarter one of fiscal 2017.
Weis enjoyed a first-quarter sales increase of 15.4 percent to $852.2 million, compared with $738.2 million in the year-ago period, while first-quarter comps, adjusting for the New Year’s and Easter holiday shift in 2017, edged up 1.1 percent. However, for the 13-week period ended April 1, Weis’ net income plunged 41.2 percent to $11.8 million, while earnings per share came to 44 cents, versus 75 cents in 2016.
“Our net income was impacted by the Easter and New Year holiday shift compared to 2016, a mild winter and overall price deflation,” explained Weis Markets Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis. “We also continued to make significant investments in our pricing and promotional programs throughout our seven-state market area.”
The Mid-Atlantic regional grocer, having acquired stores from Mars Super Markets, Ahold Delhaize’s Food Lion banner and Nell’s Family Market, converted all 44 locations to its own banner in just 96 days last fall. As a result of these new stores, the company posted an impressive 17.6 percent Q4 sales increase and noted that in 2016, it generated more than $3 billion in sales for the first time in its 104-year history. Additionally, Weis has recently revealed plans to invest $90 million in its growth this year, including new stores, remodels, supply chain improvements and ongoing information technology enhancements.
Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets operates 204 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia.