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Publix reports Q4, full-year results

BY Allison Cerra

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix reported a 13.4% increase in its fourth-quarter sales to $7.2 billion, the retailer said Thursday.

Net earnings for fourth quarter 2011 were $399.5 million, compared to $342.1 million in 2010, an increase of 16.8%. Comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter increased 5.3%.

Meanwhile, earnings per share were 51 cents, up from 44 cents per share in 2010.

For the 53-week year ended Dec. 31, Publix’s sales were $27 billion, a 7.3% increase from last year’s $25.1 billion, a 52-week year. The additional week in 2011 increased sales by 1.9%. Comparable-store sales for 2011 increased 4.1%.

“I’m pleased that our strong operating performance and improvements in the stock market resulted in an increase in our stock price,” Publix CEO Ed Crenshaw said. “Our associate owners deserve the credit for these results as they continue to make us a leader in customer service.”

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Noah’s introduces oxygenated spring water

BY DSN STAFF

CHICAGO — Noah’s has expanded its beverage offerings to include new oxygen-infused spring water.

New Noah’s oxygenated spring water eight times the amount of oxygen in regular spring water, the company said. The product is packaged in 12-oz. Rexam Sleek cans to protect the integrity of the oxygen content in the product.

Noah’s oxygenated spring water currently is available at select retail locations in California, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Tennessee, with ongoing plans to drive expansion across the country.

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Seven is Target’s lucky number for 2012 fiscal year

BY Mike Troy

MINNEAPOLIS — Target reported a 7% same-store sales increase in February that shattered the company’s guidance for a 4% gain, thanks to unseasonably warm weather, which boosted shopper traffic and transaction sizes.

The sales increases was well above the company’s expectations, which prompted chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel to say, “We’re very pleased with the pace of our sales since the holiday season, though we continue to plan for a first quarter comparable-store sales increase of around 4%.”

The company said every region of the county experienced a healthy increase in comparable-store sales and inventories were in good condition.

Comparable-store sales across the company’s various merchandise categories experienced increases. Food comps increased in the low teens. Comparable-store sales in household essentials increased in the mid single-digit range, with the strongest performance in healthcare and beauty.

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