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    Weis' Q4 Sales Edge Up; Net Income Skyrockets

    The Mid-Atlantic grocer attributed its results to the ongoing success of its targeted promotional and transaction-building programs, along with operations improvements and increased efficiencies.

    Weis Markets, Inc. yesterday reported that its fourth-quarter sales grew 2.7 percent to $619.4 million, while basic and diluted earnings per share rose 31 cents to 63 cents per share. For the 13-week period ending Dec. 27, 2008, the grocer's comps increased 2.2 percent, and its net income soared 97.6 percent to $17.0 million.

    "Our fourth-quarter sales and net income increases were due to the continuing success of our targeted promotional and transaction-building programs, combined with key improvements in our store operating practices and increased efficiencies at store and distribution levels," noted Weis president and CEO David J. Hepfinger. "We continue to operate in a tough economic environment, which is clearly impacting our customers' purchasing decisions. However, we believe our continuing operational improvements, along with our aggressive merchandising and marketing programs, will help us to make substantial progress with our sales and profits in 2009."

    Year–to-date company sales grew 4.5 percent to $2.4 billion for the 52-week period ending Dec. 27, and comparable-store sales rose 4.3 percent. Basic and diluted earnings per share decreased 15 cents to $1.74 per share, while net income fell 7.8 percent to $47.0 million.

    Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis operates 154 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia.

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