CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ruddick Corp. here said the divestiture of 26 Harris Teeter stores resulted in lower sales for the first quarter ended Dec. 30.
in Georgia and South Carolina that were divested in July and a 1.1% decline in comparable-store sales. Those declines were partially offset by five store openings, the company pointed out.
Ruddick said the drop in comps was due to warm weather in the Southeast and the increased sluggishness in the economy.
Operating profit a