SUNBURY, Pa. -- Weis Markets here experienced gains in sales and profits for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 27, but operational problems at the company's SuperPetz subsidiary reduced 1997 profits.
Net earnings in the quarter were $21.6 million, an increase of 7.39% compared with $20.1 million in the year-ago quarter. For the year, earnings were down 0.84% to $78.2 million, compared with $78.9 million in 1996.
Weis Markets said sales increased despite minimal inflation, pockets of deflation, a soft sales environment and intense competition in its core markets of Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Weis attributed these gains to its expansion program, now in its third year, which saw construction of five superstores, three expansions and 13 remodels. However, the performance of SuperPetz, Weis' pet-center subsidiary, dragged down Weis' results. SuperPetz reported an after-tax loss of $6.9 million for 1997.