SUNBURY, Pa. -- Weis Markets here said last week a sharp decline in investment income was a primary reason earnings fell 38% to $11.7 million in the third quarter ended Sept. 29.
s increased 2.7% to $498.8 million, and identical-store sales were up 3.2%.
For the first three quarters, sales declined 2.3% to $1.48 billion, income fell 36% to $37.6 million, and earnings per share were $1.11, compared with $1.41 in the first 39 weeks of the previous year.
Norman Rich, president of Weis Markets, said, "In a market where the competition has increased and the economy continues to soften, we are pleased we have improved our market share. Our company's net income and earnings per share were substantially affected by a $4 million decline in investment income due to our stock repurchase in May. Increased employee wage and benefit costs and increased promotional expenses adversely affected our net income in the third quarter."
Rich noted that as a result of the company's expansion plan, 70% of its stores are new, acquired, expanded or remodeled since 1995. "We continue to believe our strategy of building market share and investing in our store base will position us well for the future," Rich said.