Weis Markets, Inc., has reported record total sales of over $3.5 billion for the 52-week period ended December 29, 2018, up 1.2 percent compared to the same period a year ago, while annual comparable store sales increased 0.7 percent.
Income from operations rose $7.2 million, or 9.4 percent to $83.6 million compared to $76.4 million for the same period in 2017. The Company’s annual and fourth quarter net income comparisons are impacted by the federal government’s implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Tax Reform) in 2017. The Company realized a $49.3 million decrease in its deferred income tax due to this legislation, which improved net income in both its 2017 and fourth quarter results. The current annual results contain no such benefit. Annual net income totaled $62.7 million (-36.3 percent) compared to $98.4 million in 2017. Annual earnings per share totaled $2.33 compared to $3.66 per share in 2017.
“We made significant forward progress in 2018 by driving sales, investing in our store base and information technology and by improving store-level efficiencies,” said Weis Markets Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis. “The result was a 9.4 percent increase in annual operating income and increased comparable store sales in 2018. During the year, we also expanded online ordering with in-store pickup and home delivery to 173 stores which resulted in more than 100,000 orders and a 33.2 percent increase in online sales.
Fourth Quarter Results:
During the thirteen-week period ended December 29, 2018, the Company’s sales increased 1.0 percent to $892.9 million compared to the same period in 2017, while fourth quarter comparable store sales increased 0.9 percent.
Income from operations in the fourth quarter totaled $17.2 million compared to $22.3 million in the same period in 2017. As previously noted, the fourth quarter in 2017 was impacted by the favorable $49.3 million decrease in the Company’s deferred income tax due to the federal government’s implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Tax Reform) in 2017. The current period contains no such benefit. The Company’s fourth quarter net income declined 79.2 percent to $13.2 million compared to $63.7 million in 2017, while earnings per share totaled $0.49 compared to $2.37 per share for the same period in 2017.
The Company attributed its increases in fourth quarter 2018 sales and comparable store sales to targeted holiday promotions through its loyalty marketing program and continuing improvements in store level efficiencies, price optimization improvements and improved store-level inventory management.
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About Weis Markets
Founded in 1912, Weis Markets, Inc. is a Mid Atlantic food retailer operating 200 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York West Virginia and Virginia. For more information, please visit: WeisMarkets.com or Facebook.com/WeisMarkets.