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Village Profits Dip in Q1

SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — ShopRite operator Village Super Market here on Wednesday said higher expenses and lower gross margins caused profits in its fiscal first quarter to decrease by 13%, even with a boost from Hurricane Sandy-sparked sales.

Sales for the quarter, which ended Oct. 27, increased by 4.5% to $358.2 million, and same-stores were up 2.6%. Village said same-store sales increased due to “very high sales” in the run-up to Hurricane Sandy. Same-store sales also increased due to a higher sales at Village’s two stores in Maryland, which opened in July 2011 and are now included in same-store sales.

Village said it has reduced losses at the Maryland stores but that sales remain lower than expected as the company builds market share and awareness.

Net income in the first quarter totaled $5.9 million. Gross profits decreased by 40 basis points to 26.7% of sales this year due to decreased departmental gross margin percentages and increased warehouse assessment charges from Wakefern, partially offset by higher patronage dividends and lower inventory accounting charges. Operating expenses increased 30 basis points to 22.4% of sales due to higher payroll and benefit costs, Village said. Village operates 29 ShopRite stores.

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