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    Weis Markets Q2 Profits Dip; Sales Up 4.3 Pct.

    Rising fuel costs and card transaction were the culprits.

    Weis Markets Inc. yesterday posted second quarter net income of $12.8 million, or $0.48 per share, vs. $18.2 million, or $0.67 per share, in the year-ago quarter.

    The Sunbury, Pa.-based chain said the 29 percent earnings decline sprang from a $1 million hike in fuel costs, and a 9.4 percent increase in its credit and debit card transaction fees.

    The grocer's aggressive promotional, pricing, and transaction building programs, meanwhile, paid off in strong second quarter sales, which increased 4.3 percent to $603.4 million vs. $578.8 million for the same period a year ago. During the 13-week period ending June 28, 2008, Weis' same store sales also rose 4.3 percent.

    Alongside the wholesale price index that continued to rise during the quarter, the company increased the accrual to its LIFO reserve by an additional $900,000 in the quarter vs. the same period a year ago. The company also reported a $5.3 million pretax gain from the sale of two properties in the 2007 quarter.

    Year-to-date, Weis's sales were up 4.2 percent to $1.2 billion, while its same-store sales rose 4.5 percent. Further, its year-to-date earnings per share were $.81 vs. $1.17 in 2007. For the same period, net income totaled $21.9 million, compared to $31.6 million in 2007.

    Weis Markets operates 156 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia.

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