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Ruddick posts 5.7% sales growth in Q2 ending April 3
06
May '11
Ruddick Corporation reported that consolidated sales for the fiscal second quarter ended April 3, 2011 increased by 5.7% to $1.13 billion from $1.07 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2010. For the 26 weeks ended April 3, 2011, consolidated sales increased by 6.0% to $2.24 billion from $2.11 billion for the comparable period of fiscal 2010. The increase in consolidated sales for the quarter and 26-week period was attributable to sales increases at both of the Company's operating subsidiaries - Harris Teeter, Inc., the Company's supermarket subsidiary, and American & Efird ("A&E"), the Company's sewing thread and technical textiles subsidiary.

The Company reported that consolidated net income in the second quarter of fiscal 2011 increased by 8.8% to $29.9 million, or $0.61 per diluted share, from the $27.5 million, or $0.57 per diluted share reported in the prior year second quarter. For the 26 weeks ended April 3, 2011, consolidated net income increased by 32.9% to $68.0 million, or $1.39 per diluted share, from the $51.2 million, or $1.06 per diluted share reported in the same period of fiscal 2010.

The increase in net earnings for the fiscal quarter was driven by operating profit improvements at both Harris Teeter and A&E when compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2010. The increase in net earnings for the 26-week period was driven by operating profit improvements at both operating subsidiaries and a pre-tax gain of $19.5 million ($10.3 million after tax or $0.21 per diluted share) from the sale of the Company's interest in a foreign investment that was recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.

Harris Teeter sales increased by 4.9% to $1.05 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2011, from sales of $1.00 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2010. For the 26 weeks ended April 3, 2011, sales rose 5.5% to $2.08 billion from $1.97 billion in the same period of fiscal 2010. The increase in sales for the quarter and 26-week period was attributable to incremental new store sales and an increase in comparable store sales of 1.42% for the quarter and 1.81% for the 26-week period ended April 3, 2011.

The 2011 Easter holiday sales will be reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 and the 2010 Easter holiday sales were reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2010; however, the 2010 Easter holiday sales are included in the second quarter of fiscal 2010 when computing comparable store sales because of a shift of one week caused by the 53-week year in fiscal 2010. Management has estimated that the Easter holiday shift negatively impacted the fiscal 2011 comparable store sales calculation by approximately 68 basis points for the quarter and 35 basis points for 26-week period ended April 3, 2011.

During the first half of fiscal 2011, Harris Teeter has opened four new stores (one of which replaced an existing store) and closed one store. Since the second quarter of fiscal 2010, Harris Teeter has opened eight new stores (one of which replaced an existing store) and closed one store, for a net addition of seven stores. Harris Teeter operated 202 stores at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2011.

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