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Weis Markets 2Q Earnings Up 7.2 Percent

SUNBURY, Pa. -- Weis Markets Inc. here said yesterday its second-quarter earnings rose 7.2 percent compared to the year ago period, largely due to sustained, cost effective promotional programs, supply chain and store level execution, and increases in perishables and key center store categories.

Net income grew to $14.6 million, or 54 cents per share, from $13.6 million, or 50 cents per share a year ago, while sales for the quarter increased 2.8 percent to $535.7 million from $521.4 million.

Year-to-date, the company's sales have increased 4.2 percent to $1.1 billion while net income has risen 5.1 percent to $31.4 million. The company's comparable store sales over the 26-week period ending June 25 increased 4.2 percent. Year-to-date diluted earnings per share, meanwhile, increased 5.5 percent to $1.16.

Not all was rosy in the Weis report, however. Despite improvements in a number of areas, Weis said it continues to see significant increases for the cost of fuel and associate healthcare benefits, in addition to exorbitant increases in its credit and debit interchange fees. Over the past ten years, the company said its interchange fees have increased 582 percent due to substantial rate increases and higher customer usage.

At the company's recent shareholders meeting, Weis Markets' chairman Robert F. Weis said the chain plans to invest $109.4 million in an ongoing capital expansion program.

Operating 157 stores in six states -- Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia and West Virginia – Weis Markets also owns and operates SuperPetz, a pet supply superstore chain with 32 locations in eleven states.
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