US regional supermarket operator Pathmark Stores has posted a rise in quarterly profit, boosted by a gain related to the sale of real estate.

The Carteret, New Jersey-based retailer reported earnings of US$6.2m, or 21 cents a share, for the second quarter to 2 August, compared to $3.5m, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier.

Sales rose 0.8% to $995.6m, while same-store sales increased 0.6%.

The results include a $7.2m post-tax gain from the sale of real estate and a $1.8m charge from a labour buyout programme in some stores. Excluding those items, second-quarter earnings were $0.8m, or 3 cents a share.

Pathmark, which operates more than 100 supermarkets, said it expects fiscal 2003 earnings to be toward the upper end of its 52 cents to 62 cents a share guidance.

The company also expects full-year same-store sales growth to be in the mid to upper end of its 0-1% range.