FINANCIAL WATCH

Harris Teeter, Charlotte, N.C., said sales climbed 5.1% and operating profit jumped 19% for the third quarter ended June 30. Sales were $454.1 million vs. $431.9 in the comparable quarter. Operating profit rose to $14.1 million from $11.8 million a year ago. Same-store sales were up 2.6%. Sales growth stemmed from customer acceptance of new stores, the chain reported, while operating profit benefited

Harris Teeter, Charlotte, N.C., said sales climbed 5.1% and operating profit jumped 19% for the third quarter ended June 30. Sales were $454.1 million vs. $431.9 in the comparable quarter. Operating profit rose to $14.1 million from $11.8 million a year ago. Same-store sales were up 2.6%. Sales growth stemmed from customer acceptance of new stores, the chain reported, while operating profit benefited from increased sales of higher-margin products and improved control of operating expenses.

se to $81.7 million from $76.4 million in the quarter and to $143.3 million from $134.1 million in the half.

Sales at Sloan's Supermarkets, New York, rose 11.9% to $13.5 million from $12.1 million and earnings jumped 51% to $330,353 from $218,290 in the 13-week first quarter ended June 2. Same-store sales fell 4% because Memorial Day fell earlier than a year ago, and gross margins rose 6.9% to 40.1% of sales due to more efficient inventory purchasing and a better product mix, Sloan's reported. The company expects to boost margins and cut labor expenses with its ongoing installation of computer-linked automatic checkout systems. Sloan's noted that it is continuing to work with its investment bankers to integrate about 30 privately held Sloan's and Gristedes stores with the 14 units in the publicly owned Sloan's.