Harris Teeter's Q2 Sales Jump 12.7 Percent

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Sales at regional supermarket chain Harris Teeter jumped 12.7 percent to $805.6 million for the fiscal second quarter, its parent company, Ruddick Corp., said yesterday.

For the 26 weeks ended April 1, sales rose 11.9 percent to $1.60 billion. Ruddick Corp. attributed the increase to net new store openings, partially offset by store closings and divestitures, and comparable store sales increases of 4.87 percent for the 2007 second fiscal quarter, and 4.09 percent for the 26-week period.

"The second quarter marks our 17th consecutive quarter of comparable store sales gains," said Thomas W. Dickson, chairman of the board, president, and c.e.o. of Ruddick Corp., in a statement, "and we achieved a record operating profit margin. We continue to focus on our core markets and our accelerated new store opening schedule, which includes 12 new stores for the remainder of the year."

During the first six months of fiscal 2007, Harris Teeter opened seven new stores, closed three older stores, and completed the major remodeling of four stores, two of which were expanded in size. Since the second quarter of fiscal 2006, Harris Teeter has opened 19 new stores, while closing or divesting nine stores, for a net addition of 10 stores.

Operating profit at Harris Teeter increased by 16.9 percent to $38.2 million for the second quarter as compared to $32.7 million in the prior year period. Operating profit as a percent of sales improved by 18 basis points to 4.75 percent from 4.57 percent in the same period last year.

For the 26 weeks ended April 1, 2007 operating profit was $73.7 million, an increase of 11.6 percent from the prior year period. For the first six months, operating profit as a percent of sales remained relatively comparable at 4.60 percent for fiscal 2007 and 4.61 percent for fiscal 2006.
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