WEIS: 'SIGNIFICANT' COST INCREASES HURT PROFITS

SUNBURY, Pa. -- Weis Markets here said its inability to pass on hikes in wholesale prices to consumers hurt its profits in the 13-week third quarter ended Sept. 27.r.Weis said it experienced "significant cost increases" in beef, poultry, milk and eggs, but was unable to pass them on to shoppers because of "competitive activity that has restrained increasing" retail prices. Competitive activity was

SUNBURY, Pa. -- Weis Markets here said its inability to pass on hikes in wholesale prices to consumers hurt its profits in the 13-week third quarter ended Sept. 27.

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Weis said it experienced "significant cost increases" in beef, poultry, milk and eggs, but was unable to pass them on to shoppers because of "competitive activity that has restrained increasing" retail prices. Competitive activity was also reflected in a $3.1 million increase in expenses for merchandising supplies and advertising.

Another factor the company cited in explaining the falloff in the year-over-year comparisons of net income and earnings per share was last year's gain of $2.7 million from the sale of two former store sites.

Sales for the quarter rose 1.8% to $504.7 million, and comparable-store sales grew 2.4%.

In the 39-weeks ended Sept. 27, sales rose 2% to $1.52 billion, comps were up 2.6%, net income was down 6.4% to $40.4 million, and earnings per share were $1.49 vs. $1.59 in last year's first 39 weeks.