Harris Teeter Sales and Profits Rise

Charlotte, N.C. Regional supermarket chain Harris Teeter, with 169 stores in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, reported that sales rose 10.9% to $893.1 million in the second quarter of its current fiscal year compared to sales of $805.6 million in the same quarter of 2007.

For the first half of the 2008 fiscal year, Harris Teeter sales were up 11.7% over the first half of last year, growing to $1.79 billion from $1.60 billion in 2007.

For the 26-week period that ended March 30, operating profit at Harris Teeter increased 23.0% year-over-year, growing to $90.6 million, 5.06% of sales, from $73.7 million, 4.60% of sales.

In its prepared statement, Charlotte, N.C.-based parent company Ruddick Corp. attributed the sales growth “to incremental new stores and comparable-store sales increases of 3.28% for the 2008 second fiscal quarter and 3.83% for the 26-week period.”

During the first half of its fiscal year, the company opened six new stores, replaced one older store with a new store and completely remodeled three stores.

Ruddick’s release also noted that “Harris Teeter's continued improvement in operating performance and financial position provides the flexibility to expand its store-development program for new and replacement stores along with the remodeling and expansion of existing stores.”

In the second half of this fiscal year, the company plans to open an additional nine new stores, one of which will replace an existing store, and remodel four stores. Harris Teeter’s growth strategy focuses on the expansion of existing markets. In this fiscal year, key markets for expansion include the Washington, D.C. metro area including northern Virginia, southern Maryland and coastal Delaware.