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Weis' Q1 sales cap off four years of growth

Weis Markets' first quarter sales increased 2.8 percent to $876.1 million compared to the same period in 2017 while comparable store sales, adjusted for the holiday shift, increased 1.5 percent.weis

At the annual shareholder’s meeting on April 26, 2018, the company also announced a $101 million growth plan for the construction of two new stores, 20 remodels, four pharmacies and one fuel center.  The first new store opened in Nottingham, MD, on April 12. The company has also expanded and upgraded its Weis 2 Go online ordering service with curbside pick-up. It recently introduced this service in 25 additional stores and currently offers it in 79 locations.

During the 13-week period ending March 31, the company’s net income increased 36.8 percent to $16.2million compared to $11.8 million for the same period in 2017 while first quarter earnings per share increased 36.4 percent to $0.60 compared to $0.44 in 2017. The company’s first quarter operating income increased 12.8 percent to $22.8 million.

The company’s first quarter sales benefited from the holiday shift since the Easter sales week occurred in the last week of the first quarter while the slow post-Easter sales week occurred in the second quarter. In 2017, both the Easter and post-Easter weeks fell in the second quarter.

“Our operating income was positively impacted by store improvements in overall efficiency levels, particularly with inventory management, which resulted in an improved store gross profit rate and our 16th consecutive quarter of comparable store sales increases,” said Jonathan Weis, Weis Markets’ chairman and chief executive officer. “Our operating income also benefited from store labor efficiencies, in which multiple winter weather events were a contributing factor, and improvements to some of our key marketing and advertising programs. We look to build on our momentum in the coming months.”