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    Publix’s Overall Q4 Sales Edge Up, But Economy Creams Comps

    Publix Super Market yesterday posted sales for the fourth quarter of 2009 of $6.1 billion, a 1 percent rise from last year’s $6 billion.

    Publix Super Market yesterday posted sales for the fourth quarter of 2009 of $6.1 billion, a 1 percent rise from last year’s $6 billion. Comparable-store sales for the quarter fell 2.5 percent, however. The company’s net earnings for the fourth quarter were $284.2 million, vs. $249 million in 2008, an increase of 14.1 percent. Earnings per share for the quarter were 36 cents for 2009, up from 31 cents per share in the year-ago period.

    The Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer’s sales for the fiscal year ended Dec. 26, 2009, came to $24.3 billion, a 1.6 percent increase from last year’s $23.9 billion, while comps declined 3.2 percent. Net earnings for fiscal 2009 were $1.2 billion, compared with $1.1 billion for last year, an increase of 6.6 percent. Earnings per share rose to $1.47 for 2009, from $1.33 per share in 2008.

    “I’m pleased our operating performance and stock price improved in this difficult economic environment,” noted Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw. “Our associates, the owners of Publix, deserve the credit for these results as they continue to make us a leader in customer service.”

    Privately owned and operated by its 141,000 employees, Publix operates 1,011 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

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