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Costco reports Q2 sales, profit gains

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Sales at club-based mass merchandiser Costco increased by 11% to $20.45 billion during the second quarter of fiscal year 2011, according to an earnings report Wednesday. For the first half of fiscal 2011, net sales increased to nearly $39.3 billion, from about $35.3 billion last year.

The figures include sales from Costco’s 50% owned joint venture in Mexico, and sales in that country accounted for about three percentage points of the quarterly and year-to-date sales.

Profits for the quarter were up 16.3% to $348 million, compared with $299 million in second quarter 2010, while profits for the year to date were $660 million, up 16.8% from the first half of fiscal 2010.

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Stater Bros. chief honored for patriotism

BY DSN STAFF

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Stater Bros. chairman and CEO Jack Brown has joined the likes of Bob Hope, Will Rogers and Ronald Reagan as a recipient of the prestigious Patriot Award, the company announced.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society presented Brown with the award on Feb. 26 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., where 45 Medal of Honor recipients and other notable guests were gathered, the company reported.

Brown served in the U.S. Navy with the Pacific Fleet aboard the U.S.S. Interceptor and the U.S.S. General J.C. Breckinridge. Following his honorable discharge in 1962, he quickly rose through the ranks of the supermarket industry and has been at the helm of Stater Bros. Supermarkets for more than 30 years.

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Q4, fiscal-year comps up for Publix

BY Allison Cerra

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix on Tuesday disclosed a 4.4% increase in its fourth-quarter sales, which reached $6.4 billion, while comparable-store sales for the quarter also rose 3.2%.

Net earnings for the retailer totaled $342.1 million, compared with $284.2 million in the year-ago period, an increase of 20.4%. Earnings per share for the fourth quarter increased to 44 cents for 2010, up from 36 cents per share in 2009.

For the fiscal year ended Dec. 25, 2010, Publix reported sales of $25.1 billion, a 3.3% uptick from the prior year’s $24.3 billion. Comparable-store sales for 2010 experienced a 2.3% gain.

Net earnings also saw a boost in 2010, rising 15.2% to $1.3 billion, compared with the prior year. Earnings per share increased to $1.70 for 2010, up from $1.47 per share in 2009.

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