CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Ruddick Corp. here said its Harris Teeter supermarket chain posted a 12.9% gain in operating profits in the first quarter ended Jan. 2, compared with the first quarter of the previous year. million. During the quarter, operating profits totaled 4.45% of sales, vs. 4.13% of sales in the year-ago first quarter. The company said it was able to offset increased medical and benefit costs and the expenses associated with store closures through cost cutting in other areas. ...

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