LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Super Markets here reported a rare decline in comparable-store sales last week, amid a weak economic environment and increasing price competition in Florida (see story, Page 12).
The company reported a 20% decline in fourth-quarter net income, to $249 million, on a 2.6% increase in sales, to $6 billion. Comparable-store sales fell 0.9%.
For the full year, net income was down 8%, to $1.1 billion, on a 4% gain in sales, to $23.9 billion. Comparable-store sales for the year were up 1.3%. The company's fiscal year ended Dec. 27.
Publix also said it plans to cut capital expenditures by nearly 50% in 2009, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Cap-ex for the current fiscal year is projected to be $665 million, vs. $1.29 billion in 2008, which included $498 million for the acquisition of 49 Florida Albertsons.
Publix reopened 24 of those stores last year and plans to open 11 more this year, part of the total of 40 new stores estimated for 2009. That compares with 67 new openings in 2008. The chain remodeled another 93 stores in 2008.