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American & Efird sales decline for Q1 2008
Feb '08
Ruddick Corporation reported that consolidated sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2008 ended December 30, 2007 increased by 10.9% to $976.7 million from $880.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2007. The increase in sales during the quarter was attributable to sales increases at the Company's Harris Teeter supermarket subsidiary that were offset, in part, by a sales decline at the Company's American & Efird ("A&E") sewing thread and technical textiles subsidiary.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2008, consolidated net income was $23.3 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, compared to $18.3 million, or $0.38 per diluted share, in the prior year's first quarter. The 27.6% increase in net earnings over the prior year was driven by improved operating profit at Harris Teeter.

Harris Teeter's sales increased by 12.6% to $896.6 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2008 compared to sales of $796.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2007. The increase in sales was attributable to new store activity, partially offset by store closings and divestitures, and a comparable store sales increase of 4.40% for the quarter.

During the first quarter of fiscal 2008, Harris Teeter opened two new stores and completed the remodeling and expansion of one store. Since the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2007, Harris Teeter has opened 16 new stores while closing or divesting 5 stores for a net addition of 11 stores. Harris Teeter operated 166 stores at December30, 2007.

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