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Weis Markets will invest $80 million in its growth over the next year, which represents a 25 percent increase in its capital expansion budget from the prior year, company executives told shareholders at the regional retailer’s annual meeting.
Updating company shareholders about the Sunbury, Pa.-based chain’s plans for the future and its 2008 results, vice chairman Jonathan Weis said: “We have 18 projects in active planning stages and expect to soon begin work on one replacement unit and a new store in the coming months. A substantial portion of our budget will go towards the upgrade of our information technology systems.”
As a company, Weis said, “We are focused on disciplined growth that continues to benefit all of our important stakeholders, including our shareholders and our associates.”
While reviewing the company’s 2008 results during Tuesday’s shareholders meeting, Weis Markets CEO David Hepfinger said, “In many respects, our year was a tale of two companies. In the first part of the year, our company underperformed. But in the second half of the year, we regained our momentum and produced a 97.6 percent increase in our fourth-quarter net income.”
Citing the company’s $1.5 million, or 3.0 percent, 2008 operating income increase to $55 million, vs. $53 million in 2007, Hepfinger noted that during “a time of tremendous economic uncertainty, we focused on the fundamentals of our business. In 2008, we began improving our operating conditions and set higher standards for our organization, which has resulted in a better and more consistent shopping experience for our customers. We continued to improve in 2009, when our first-quarter net income increased 82.4 percent and our core operating income increased 154 percent.”
Weis Markets operates 154 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia.