MATHEWS, N.C. — Ruddick Corp., Charlotte, N.C., said targeted promotions and pricing programs helped boost sales and operating income at its Harris Teeter subsidiary here for the second quarter and first half ended March 30. Sales rose 10.9% to $893.1 million for the 13-week quarter and 11.7% to $1.8 billion for the half, while same-store sales increased 3.3% for the quarter and 3.8% for the year-to-date; operating income for the 169-store chain rose 21.3% to $46.4 million for the quarter and 23% to $90.6 million for the half. Ruddick said operating profits improved primarily as a result of increased store sales, which it attributed to comp-store gains, targeted promotional spending and retail pricing programs. "The sales increases, along with a continued emphasis on operational efficiencies and cost controls, have provided the leverage to offset the incremental costs associated with Harris Teeter's new-store program [encompassing six new stores and three major remodelings during the half]; increased associate benefit costs; credit and debit card fees; supply costs; and other occupancy costs," the company indicated.
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