Ruddick Corporation reported that consolidated sales for the fiscal second quarter ended March 28, 2010 increased by 6.1% to $1.07 billion from $1.01 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2009. For the 26 weeks ended March 28, 2010, consolidated sales increased by 5.3% to $2.11 billion from $2.00 billion for the comparable period of fiscal 2009. 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, the Company's supermarket subsidiary, and American & Efird (“A&E”), the Company's sewing thread and technical textiles subsidiary.
Thomas W. Dickson, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ruddick Corporation commented that, “We have continued to drive customer shopping visits and loyalty through the investments we have made in our in-store promotional activity and lower everyday prices. While our store-brand business remains strong we are starting to see the national brands offer additional vendor funding for promotional activities. During the first half of fiscal 2010, we realized a greater number of items sold and increased customer shopping visits in our comparable stores. Additionally, our customer loyalty data indicates that the number of active households increased by 1.29% per comparable store. We have been successful in offsetting a significant portion of our investment in prices through operational efficiencies and cost saving initiatives throughout the organization. As a result, selling, general and administrative costs as a percent of sales decreased to 25.63% for the second quarter of fiscal 2010, as compared to 26.33% in the prior year. Our customers continue to respond positively to our pricing and promotional investments; however, they also demand the quality, value, variety and service we have always provided and we will continue to provide. In addition, we are well positioned to provide our customers with the more discretionary items like seafood and floral where we are beginning to see more customer activity.”
Mr. Dickson said, “We are very pleased with A&E's results for the first half of fiscal 2010. The improvements in retail sales of apparel and automobiles have had a positive impact on A&E's sales throughout its global network. A&E's previous efforts to consolidate manufacturing capacities and reduce operating and overhead costs have contributed significantly to the improvement in profitability as sales and production volumes have risen. In addition, improved operating results have also been realized through the sizeable Asian operations in which A&E holds a noncontrolling interest. Today, A&E has over 60% of its total finishing production capacity located in Asia, including its joint ventures. We will continue to enhance our international operations and evaluate A&E's structure to best position A&E to take advantage of opportunities available through these operations.”