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    Publix Q4 Sales, Earnings Up

    Extra week in FY 2011 contributed to increases

    Publix Super Markets Inc. has posted sales for the fourth quarter of 2011, a 14-week period, of $7.2 billion, a 13.4 percent rise from last year’s $6.4 billion, a 13-week period. The extra week in the fourth quarter of 2011 resulted in a 7.6 percent sales increase, according to the Lakeland, Fla.-based company. Comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 grew 5.3 percent.

    Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2011 were $399.5 million, versus $342.1 million in 2010, an increase of 16.8 percent. Earnings per share for the fourth quarter rose to 51 cents for 2011, up from 44 cents per share in the year-ago period. Net earnings and earnings per share benefited from the extra week in the fourth quarter of 2011, Publix noted.

    The grocer’s sales for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2011, a 53-week year, were $27.0 billion, a 7.3 percent increase from $25.1 billion, last year, which consisted of 52 week year. The additional week in 2011 was responsible for 1.9 percent sales growth, Publix said. Comps for 2011 were up 4.1 percent.

    Net earnings for 2011 were $1.5 billion, compared with $1.3 billion for 2010, an increase of 11.5 percent. Earnings per share grew to $1.90 for 2011, up from $1.70 per share in 2010. As with the fourth-quarter results, net earnings and earnings per share benefited from the extra week in 2011, according to the grocer.

    The results come from an audited report filed Feb. 29 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

    As of March 1, Publix’s stock price was up $2.20, from $20.20 per share to $22.40 per share. Publix stock is not publicly traded and made available for sale only to current Publix employees and members of its board of directors.

    “[O]ur strong operating performance and improvements in the stock market resulted in an increase in our stock price,” noted Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw. “Our associate owners deserve the credit for these results as they continue to make us a leader in customer service.”

    Privately owned and operated by its 151,000 employees, Publix has 1,049 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

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