While sales and margins increased, higher expenses and competitive openings hurt profits and same-store sales in the fiscal fourth quarter for Village Super Market Inc., a ShopRite operator based in Springfield, N.J.
Village’s new store in the Bronx, which opened in June, helped to increase the company’s overall sales by 0.7% to $413.6 million for the quarter, which ended July 28. Comparable-store sales in the period dipped by 0.3%, owing to competitive openings against two of Village’s other stores.
Net income of $6 million, adjusted for one-time items, dipped by 6% primarily due to higher operating and administrative expenses, partially offset by decreased taxes, Village said.
Operating and administrative expenses as a percentage of sales increased to 23.8% in the fourth quarter from 23% in the same period last year, primarily due to payroll investments, external consulting fees, preopening costs, warehouse assessments and increased worker compensation claims.
Gross profit as a percentage of sales increased to 27.56% compared to 27.39% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017 due primarily to increased departmental gross margin percentages (0.11%) and more favorable product mix (0.03%).
For the fiscal year, Village's posted net income was $25.1 million on sales of $1.6 billion. Adjusted for one-time events, earnings were down by 2% on the year, while sales were up by 0.4% and same-store sales increased by 0.2%. The same-store fiscal year sales increase was slightly better than the flat sales anticipated when Village announced first-quarter results in December.
Village Super Market operates a chain of 30 supermarkets under the ShopRite name in New Jersey, Maryland, northeastern Pennsylvania and New York City.