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    Publix Q4 Sales, Earnings Rise

    Company CEO Ed Crenshaw credits associates for delivering in tough times.

    Publix’s sales for the fourth quarter of 2010 totaled $6.4 billion, a 4.4 percent increase from $6.1 billion last year. Comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter of 2010 rose 3.2 percent.

    Net earnings for the Southeast grocer’s fourth quarter of 2010 were $342.1 million, vs. $284.2 million last year, an increase of 20.4 percent. Earnings per share for the fourth quarter grew to 44 cents for 2010, up from 36 cents per share in 2009.

    Publix’s sales for the fiscal year ended Dec. 25, 2010, were $25.1 billion, a 3.3 percent rise from $24.3 billion in the year-ago period. Comps for 2010 went up 2.3 percent.

    Net earnings for 2010 were $1.3 billion, compared with $1.2 billion last year, a 15.2 percent increase. Earnings per share rose to $1.70 for 2010, up from $1.47 per share in 2009. These amounts are based on audited reports filed Feb. 28 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

    As of March 1, Publix’s stock price had grown $1.05 from $19.85 per share to $20.90 per share. The company’s stock isn’t publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.

    “I’m very pleased that our net earnings exceeded the record earnings we achieved in 2007, and our stock price has returned to its all-time high after considering stock splits,” noted Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw. “Our associates deserve the credit for delivering these results in a difficult economic environment.”

    Privately owned and operated by its 146,500 employees, Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix operates 1,032 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.

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