Weis Markets Sees Record Sales in 2018, With Online a Standout
Weis Markets Inc. reported record total sales of more than $3.5 billion for the 52-week period ended Dec. 29, 2018, a 1.2 percent uptick from the same period a year ago, while annual comparable-store sales edged up 0.7 percent. Income from operations increased $7.2 million, or 9.4 percent to $83.6 million, versus $76.4 million for the year-ago period.
For its 13-week fourth quarter ended Dec. 29, 2018, the Mid-Atlantic retailer’s sales increased 1 percent to $892.9 million, compared with the same period in 2017, while Q4 comps rose 0.9 percent. Weis Markets attributed this growth to targeted holiday promotions via its loyalty marketing program, as well as ongoing improvements in store-level efficiencies, price optimization enhancements and better store-level inventory management.
“We made significant forward progress in 2018 by driving sales, investing in our store base and information technology and by improving store-level efficiencies,” noted Weis Markets Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis. “The result was a 9.4 percent increase in annual operating income and increased comparable-store sales in 2018. During the year, we also expanded online ordering with in-store pickup and home delivery to 173 stores, which resulted in more than 100,000 orders and a 33.2 percent increase in online sales.”
The company’s results weren’t all positive, however. Income from operations in Q4 totaled $17.2 million, versus $22.3 million in the year-ago period; the company’s Q4 net income decreased 79.2 percent to $13.2 million, compared with $63.7 million in 2017; and earnings per share for the quarter came to 49 cents, versus $2.37 per share for the year-ago period. Q4 2017 was affected by the favorable $49.3 million decrease in Weis Market’s deferred income tax as a result of the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, while Q4 2018 contained no such benefit.
Annual net income totaled $62.7 million, a decline of 36.3 percent, compared with $98.4 million in the prior year, while annual earnings per share were $2.33, versus $3.66 in 2017, again as a result of the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets operates 200 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York West Virginia and Virginia. The company is No. 27 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.