US supermarket group Weis Markets posted a drop in third quarter profit as a result of higher costs and a pre-tax impairment loss.

For the 13 weeks to 27 September, the Pennsylvania-based food retailer saw it's net income drop 25.2% to US$8.1m from $10.8m in 2007

Third-quarter sales increased 6.9% to $603.9m from $564.9m in the last-year quarter. Comparable store sales for the recent quarter increased 6.2%.

Pre-tax profit plunged 29% to $11.3m from $16m in the previous year.

Year-to-date net income dropped to US$29.98m from US$42.38m for the same period last year. Revenues for the nine-month period improved 5.1% to US$1.80bn from 2007.

The company's third quarter earnings were negatively impacted by a US$1.7m pre-tax impairment loss due to the closure of a store in the fourth quarter. Its earnings were also affected by a 28.8% increase in health and business insurance costs, a 55.2% increase in fuel costs, and a 15.0% increase in interchange fees.