US regional retailer Harris Teeter has filed a set of mixed half-year results, with sales boosting operating profit but one-off items hitting its bottom line.

The company, which runs supermarkets in eight US states, yesterday (3 May) booked a 10.4% increase in operating profit to US$98.7m for the 26 weeks to 1 April.

Harris Teeter’s operating profit benefited from a lower LIFO charge in the six-month period and higher sales.

The retailer’s sales increased 7.4% to $2.24bn, with comparable-store sales up 4.6%.

However, Harris Teeter reported net earnings of $43.9m, 35.3% lower than in the first half of last year.

The company’s bottom line last year benefited from a pre-tax gain of $19.5m from the sale of an interest in a foreign investment. Last year’s results were also boosted by the contribution from thread manufacturer American & Efird. In November, Harris Teeter sold its stake in A&E. Costs linked to the sale also hit earnings in the first half of this financial year.

Net income, operating profit and sales all increased in the second quarter. Reflecting on the quarterly results, Harris Teeter chairman and CEO Thomas Dickson said: “Our pricing and promotional strategies continue to be effective in driving unit sales, customer visits and increasing market share. Our operating profit margin improvement for the year was driven by the reduction in our selling, general and administrative expense margin realised through the leverage created from the additional sales and our emphasis on cost controls.”

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