Weis Markets Q1 Earnings Up 82%

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Weis Markets Q1 Earnings Up 82%

A day after news to extend its 90-day price freeze on 3,000 of its staple items for the next 90 days, Weis Markets, Inc.’s first-quarter net income surged 82 percent to $16.5 million vs. the same period a year ago. Further, the Sunbury, Pa.-based chain’s basic and diluted earnings per share increased 27 cents to 61 cents per share.

For the 13-week period ending March 28, 2009, the company's sales increased 1.8 percent to $606 million, while same-store sales increased a modest 1.6 percent. The company cited the late Easter holiday sales period that occurred in the first quarter of 2008 as having a negative impact on sales.

"Our results reflect the continued improvement in our operating performance,” said David J. Hepfinger, Weis Markets' president/CEO. Noting that the 154-store chain has “done a better job at balancing the needs of our business and managing our expenses,” Hepfinger said the improvements were clearly apparent in its income from core operations, which increased 154 percent in the first quarter.

"It is also important to note that we operate in a difficult sales environment,” Hepfinger said, noting that the retailer’s core markets have been hit hard by higher unemployment rates and a record low Consumer Confidence Index that he said “resulted in cautious overall spending by our customers."

Weis Markets operates stores throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia.