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LAKELAND, Fla. -- Publix Super Markets yesterday reported a 6.1 percent jump in fourth-quarter sales, along with a 3.6 percent increase in comparable store sales.
Sales for the fourth quarter of 2007 were $5.9 billion, the chain said. Net earnings for the quarter were $311 million, an increase of 6.5 percent compared to $291.9 million in 2006. Earnings per share edged up slightly to $0.37 for 2007, compared to $0.35 per share in 2006.
Publix c.e.o. Charlie Jenkins Jr. said the chain is holding steady during tough times. "Our operating performance continues to be solid under difficult economic conditions," he said in a statement.
The chain's sales for the fiscal year ended Dec. 29, 2007, meanwhile, were $23 billion, a 6.3 percent increase from last year's $21.7 billion. Comparable-store sales for 2007 increased 4.3 percent.
Net earnings for 2007 were $1.2 billion, compared to $1.1 billion for 2006, an increase of 7.9 percent. Earnings per share increased to $1.41 for 2007, up from $1.29 per share in 2006.
Based on the most recent appraisal, Publix's stock price decreased $0.10 from $20.80 per share to $20.70 per share. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.