Customer visits bolster Harris Teeter same-store sales
Grocer Harris Teeter credited its pricing and promotional strategies for driving unit sales and customer visits, which led to increased net and same-store sales for fiscal 2013.
For fiscal 2013, sales rose 3.8% to $4.71 billion from $4.54 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales for the year increased 2.23%.
Fourth quarter sales rose 4.5% to $1.19 billion from $1.14 billion in the year-ago period. The increase in sales was fueled by an increase in same-store sales and sales from new stores, partially offset by store closings. Same-store sales increased 1.49% for the quarter.
Net earnings for the year totaled $107.9 million, compared with net earnings of $82.5 million for fiscal 2012. Net earnings for fiscal 2013 were comprised of earnings from continuing operations of $109 million, or $2.21 per diluted share, and losses from discontinued operations of $1.1 million. The merger related and acquisition costs reduced earnings from continuing operations after tax in fiscal 2013 by $6.6 million, or 13 cents per diluted share.
Net earnings for the fourth quarter were $21.1 million, or 43 cents per diluted share. The merger related and acquisition costs reduced net earnings in the fourth quarter by $5.9 million, or 12 cents per diluted share, the company stated. Net earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 totaled $22.8 million and were comprised of earnings from continuing operations of $23.7 million, or 48 cents per diluted share and losses from discontinued operations of $0.9 million.
“We are pleased with our results for fiscal 2013 and the opportunities ahead of us with the Kroger merger and our recent store acquisitions. 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,” stated Thomas W. Dickson, chairman and CEO.
On July 8, the company and Kroger entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Kroger will acquire all outstanding shares of the company for $49.38 per share in cash. The terms of the merger agreement were approved by the boards of both companies and has been approved by the company’s shareholders; however, it remains subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2013.
On Sept. 12, the company announced that its operating subsidiary, Harris Teeter, entered into an agreement with Greenbax Enterprises, and certain of its subsidiaries to purchase six Piggly Wiggly store locations and one future store location in the Charleston, S.C. area. The acquisition was completed with five of the locations being re-opened shortly after the acquisition date. The remaining two locations are expected to be opened during fiscal 2014.