weisquarterly1000.jpg Weis Markets

Weis profits tumble on slow Q1 sales

Calendar shift, deflation and weather ding results

Weis Markets said sales in its fiscal first quarter increased 15.4% as a result of new stores but that profits slid on lower margins, deflation, a calendar shift and mild winter weather.

Comparable store sales excluding fuel for the 13-week period ending in April declined by 0.9%, but when adjusted for the effects of the New Years and Easter holiday shift would have improved by 1.1%, the Sunbury, Pa.-based retailer said. Lapping a period of sales-building winter storms a year ago cost about $7 million in sales, while losing a week of New Year’s sales and most Easter sales in the period due to the calendar shift had a sales impact of about $10.1 million, the company said.

Revenues totaled $852.2 million. Weis acquired 38 former Food Lion and five former Mars Super Markets stores last year and converted to the Weis banner. Including their sales on a pro-forma basis indicates Weis revenues would have declined by 3% in the period.

Net income of $11.8 million declined 41.2%, while earnings per share totaled 44 cents, down from 75 cents in 2016’s first quarter.

"Our net income was impacted by the Easter and New Year holiday shift compared to 2016, a mild winter and overall price deflation," Weis Markets' Chairman and CEO Jonathan Weis said in a statement. "We also continued to make significant investments in our pricing and promotional programs throughout our seven state market area."

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