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Publix_supermarket-exterior_photo.jpg Publix Super Markets
Southeastern grocer Publix estimated that the impact from the coronavirus crisis lifted its overall sales in the quarter by 13.4%.

Publix says pandemic’s impact fueled 18% third-quarter sales gain

Year-to-date comparable-store sales up nearly 17%

Publix Super Markets said the COVID-19 pandemic continued to spur sales in its fiscal 2020 third quarter, with net and comparable sales rising by double digits.

For the quarter ended Sept. 26, net sales totaled $11.1 billion, up 18.3% from $9.3 billion a year earlier, Publix reported Monday. Comp-store sales jumped 16.5% year over year. The Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer estimated that the impact from the coronavirus crisis lifted its overall sales in the quarter by about $1.25 billion, or 13.4%.

The gains followed increases of 21.8% in net sales and 19.9% in same-store sales for the second quarter ended June 27.

“Our associates’ efforts to serve our customers, our communities and each other during this challenging time continues to be extraordinary,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a statement on Monday. “I couldn’t be more proud of their hard work and dedication.”

On the earnings side, third-quarter net income rose to $917.6 million, or $1.31 per share, from $574 million, or 81 cents per share, a year ago. Adjusted net earnings, excluding the impact of net unrealized gains on equity securities in 2020 and net unrealized losses on equity securities in 2019, were $836.2 million, or $1.20 per share, versus $580.3 million, or 81 cents per share, in the prior-year period.

Fiscal year-to-date net sales climbed 18.7% to $33.7 billion, with comp-store sales for the nine months up 16.9%. Publix said the COVID-19 pandemic boosted sales in the period by an estimated 13.2%, or roughly $3.75 billion.

Year-to-date net earnings surged to $3 billion, or $4.20 per share, from $2.2 billion, or $3.10 per share, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, net income for the nine months was $2.8 billion, or $3.94 per share, up from $2 billion, or $2.74 per share, in the fiscal 2019 period.

Publix said its stock price rose to $57.95 per share, as of Nov. 1, from $54.35 per share on Aug. 1. An employee-owned company, the supermarket chain doesn’t publicly trade its shares, which are available for sale only to current Publix associates and board members.

Overall, Publix now operates 1,253 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, up from 1,231 stores a year ago.

For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.

TAGS: Coronavirus
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