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October 30, 2012

US: Regional retailer Weis grows profits despite sales fall

US retailer Weis Markets has booked an increase in third-quarter profits as a focus on productivity and "disciplined" promotions offset lower sales.

By Dean Best

US retailer Weis Markets has booked an increase in third-quarter profits as a focus on productivity and “disciplined” promotions offset lower sales.

Weis reported a 1.2% rise in net income to US$17.2m for the 13 weeks to 29 September. Operating income increased 1.3% to $26.5m.

The regional retailer, which has over 160 stores in five eastern US states, pointed to a “continuing focus on disciplined promotions and marketing, increased store-level productivity, improved operational and supply chain efficiencies” for the higher profits. It also cited a fall in depreciation costs.

Sales dropped 1.5% to $668.4m, with comparable-store sales down 1.7%. Weis said it maintained its market share but listed a number of factors that hit sales in the quarter.

Last September, flooding from Hurricanes Irene and Lee led to “emergency sales surges”. Weis also said pharmacy sales slid after a switch to generic products. It also flagged “cautious consumer spending” amid high unemployment in some of its markets.

For the first nine months of the year, the same trends were seen; profits up but sales down.

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