Closing out fiscal 2021, Publix Super Markets turned in its second fourth-quarter double-digit sales increase since the pre-pandemic period.
For the quarter ended Dec. 25, sales rose 12.4% to $12.6 billion from $11.2 billion a year earlier, with comparable-store sales climbing 10.5% year over year, Publix reported yesterday. Those increases, which the Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer attributed mainly to higher product costs, came atop net and comparable sales growth of 14.8% and 13.4%, respectively, in the fiscal 2020 quarter.
Full-year 2021 sales totaled $48 billion, up 7% from $44.9 billion in 2020, when the company saw a 17.7% sales jump. Comp-store sales climbed 5.4% in 2021, building on 16% growth in the prior year.
“While our country is taking steps to return to normal, our associates continue to provide the premier service that brings comfort to our customers, communities and each other,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a statement. “I want to thank our associates for their extraordinary efforts during the past two years.”
On the earnings side, Publix recorded fourth-quarter net income of $1.05 billion, or $1.53 per share, compared with $1 billion, or $1.47 per share, in the 2020 quarter. Excluding the impact of net unrealized gains on equity securities, adjusted net earnings were $959.7 million, or $1.40 per share, versus $918.5 million, or $1.32 per share, in the year-ago period.
Fiscal 2021 net income grew to $4.41 billion, or $6.40 per share, from $3.97 billion, or $5.67 per share, in fiscal 2020. Adjusted net income, backing out the net unrealized gains on equity securities, was $3.59 billion, or $5.21 per share, in 2021 versus $3.6.9 billion, or $5.27 per share, in 2020.
Effective March 1, 2022, Publix’s stock price increased from $66.40 per share to $68.80 per share. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.
Publix said its stock price stood at $68.80 per share as of March 1, up from $66.40 on Nov. 1, when the company reported fiscal 2021 third-quarter results. An employee-owned company, Publix doesn’t publicly trade its shares, which are available for sale only to associates and board members.
In a 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Publix reported that it opened 45 supermarkets (including 10 replacement units), remodeled 134 stores and closed 16 in fiscal 2021, finishing the year with 1,293 locations in seven Southeastern states (830 in Florida). That compared with 1,264 stores at the end of fiscal 2020, when the company opened 39 stores (including nine replacements), remodeled 154 units and closed 14 locations.
For fiscal 2022, Publix forecasts capital expenditures of about $2 billion, earmarked for new stores and remodels, warehouse construction and expansion, new technology and upgrades, and shopping center acquisition and/or development in its market area, according to the 10-K filing. That total would be over 55% higher than the nearly $1.29 billion and $1.23 billion spent in 2021 and 2020, respectively.
Currently, Publix operates 1,297 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.