Publix reports Q4 sales

LAKELAND, Fla. Grocery chain Publix reported a spike in its net earnings for fourth quarter 2009.

Although the company saw a 1%  increase in its fourth-quarter sales to $6.1 billion, Publix saw the biggest gain in its net earnings, which totaled $284.2 million, an increase of 14.1%, compared with $249 million in 2008. Earnings per share also rose, from 31 cents to 36 cents in fourth quarter 2009, the company reported.

On the other hand, Publix's same-store sales decreased 2.5%.

Meanwhile, Publix’s sales for the fiscal year ended Dec. 26, 2009, were $24.3 billion, a 1.6% increase from last year’s $23.9 billion. Comparable-store sales for 2009 decreased 3.2%.

Net earnings for 2009 were $1.2 billion, compared with $1.1 billion for 2008, an increase of 6.6%. Earnings per share increased to $1.47 for 2009, up from $1.33 per share in 2008.

“I’m pleased our operating performance and stock price improved in this difficult economic environment,” said Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw. “Our associates, the owners of Publix, deserve the credit for these results as they continue to make us a leader in customer service.”

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