Weis 3Q sales down vs. last year as the grocer cycles through sales lifts from hurricanes Irene, Lee

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets on Friday reported third-quarter net income of $17.2 million, up 1.2% for the period ended Sept. 29, while its earnings per share increased 1.6% to $0.64 per share compared to the same period in 2011.

For the period, Weis sales decreased 1.5% to $668.4 million, while comparable stores decreased 1.7%. Weis went up against tough comparisons in the period, the grocer reported. For the period last year, hurricanes Irene and Lee lifted sales across many of its stores in the Pennsylvania and New York markets as shoppers scrambled for emergency supplies in the wake of flooding. 

Compared to the same period in 2011, the company's third-quarter sales also were impacted by a $4.5 million decline in pharmacy sales due to the conversion of brand drugs to generic. As part of its strategy to offset this decline, the company has expanded its immunization programs.

Weis credited its net income and operating income increases to disciplined promotions and marketing, increased store-level productivity, improved operational and supply chain efficiencies, and a decrease in depreciation expenses due to its change of depreciation methods from accelerated to straight-line.

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