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New Stores, Pricing Drive Robust Sales at Publix in Q2

Comps jump by 4.8% behind Easter shift
Photograph courtesy of Publix

New stores, product price inflation and an Easter sales calendar shift powered Publix Super Markets to robust sales gains in its fiscal second quarter.

For the three-month period ending June 29, the Lakeland, Fla.-based retailer saw sales improve by 6.8% to $9.3 billion, with comparable-store sales improving by 4.8%. Publix attributed approximately $105 million in sales in the quarter, or about 1.2% comps, to the Easter holiday, which fell in the second quarter this year and the first quarter a year ago. Increased product costs made up the rest of the same-store sales lift.

Gross profit as a percentage of sales was 27.1% for the quarter, down from 27.3% in last year’s second quarter. Costs were up slightly due to increased employee payroll costs as a percentage of sales.

Operating profit as a percentage of sales was 7.3% for the three-month quarter, unchanged from 2018’s second quarter.

Net earnings of $661.1 million for the period increased by 7.3%.

Publix said its stock price decreased from $44.75 per share to $44.10 per share due to market adjustments. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.

“I’m pleased that our Publix associates delivered good operating results,” Publix CEO Todd Jones said in a statement. “We continue to provide premier service to help offset the challenges in the stock market.”

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