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Winn-Dixie's Quarterly Profits Jump

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. on Thursday said fiscal third-quarter earnings rose fourfold compared to a year ago, when it accrued expenses from store remodels.

Net earnings, including a charge for the early retirement of debt, were $44.3 million, or 31 cents per diluted share, compared with $10.7 million, or 8 cents, last year.
The retailer reported earnings of $46.6 million, or 33 cents a share, before items for the quarter ended April 3.

Winn-Dixie said sales rose 1 percent from a year ago to $3.05 billion. Identical store sales rose 0.1 percent.
"We are pleased to see identical store sales improve. Our customers seem to be responding positively to our store conditions and operations, as well as marketing efforts. We will continue to focus on the issues that we think are important to our customers in our effort to run the best supermarket in each neighborhood," said Al Rowland, Winn-Dixie's president and CEO.

As of April 3, 2002, there were 1,150 stores in operation, compared to 1,155 last year. By the end of this fiscal year, the company said it plans to have opened five new stores, and enlarged or remodeled 32 existing stores.
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