SAN ANTONIO -- H.E. Butt Grocery Co. here said sales for the year ended yesterday were approximately $6.5 billion -- an increase of 12.4% from the $5.9 billion reported a year ago. H-E-B said fiscal 1997 was a 53-week year, while fiscal 1996 was a 52-week year. As a privately held chain, H-E-B does not disclose earnings. lets and the opening of a single store in Monterrey, Mexico. H-E-B operated 243 stores at year's end this year, compared with 236 a year ago.

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