Regional US retailer Weis Markets saw its earnings climb in the first half of the year as increased productivity and efficiency in distribution offset sales that missed targets.

In the six months ended 29 June, net income reached US$44.3m, a 2.5% increase on the prior year period. Operating profit was up 4.3% to $68.5m.

CEO David Hepfinger said increased store level productivity and improved distribution efficiencies helped Weis maintain its in-stock position and the overall quality of its fresh departments.

Sales totalled $1.3bn, a 0.5% increase on last year. However, comparable-store sales were down 2%.

“While our market share remains stable, our sales were impacted by the continuing trend of cautious consumer spending and a challenging comparison to the same period in 2012 when we opened three new stores and were aggressively promoting a new replacement unit. As a result, we fell short of our sales goals,” Hepfinger said.

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