MATTHEWS, N.C. — Harris Teeter Supermarkets on Thursday reported sales increases for the fourth quarter and fiscal year, but said costs associated with its pending merger with Kroger led to a decline in earnings.
Sales for the quarter, which ended Oct. 1, totaled $1.2 billion, an increase of 4.5% driven by a new stores and a comparable-store sales increase of 1.5%. Quarterly earings of $21.1 million were down 7.5% from the same period last year, but included $5.9 million in merger-related costs.
Harris Teeter’s board of directors and shareholders have approved the sale to Kroger but the deal still awaits regulatory approval. Harris Teeter recently closed on the purchase of six Piggly Wiggly stores and one store development site in the Charleston area; five of those stores have reopened as Harris Teeter locations.
For the fiscal year, Harris Teeter reported net earnings of $107.9 million — a 30.8% increase from 2012 — on sales of $4.7 billion. Sales improved by 4.4% for the year and comparable store sales increased by 2.2%.
Harris Teeter during the year opened nine new stores, two of which were stores acquired from Lowe’s Food that were re-opened under the new 201central banner. The company operated 216 stores as of the end of fiscal 2013, and retail square footage increased by 4.2% in fiscal 2013, vs. an increase of 4.5% in fiscal 2012.
Read more: Harris Teeter Plans Piggly Wiggly Revamps
“We are pleased with our results for fiscal 2013 and the opportunities ahead of us with the Kroger merger and our recent store acquisitions. Our pricing and promotional strategies were effective during fiscal 2013 in driving unit sales and customer visits,” Thomas W. Dickson, chairman chief executive officer, said. “On a comparable store basis, we experienced increased unit sales compared to fiscal 2012 and our store brand penetration continues to improve. We believe these positive results are attributable to our continuing commitment to our customers to deliver outstanding values and excellent customer service.”
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