Weis Markets built on record sales in fiscal 2021—when the Mid-Atlantic grocer topped its previous record set amid COVID-driven consumer demand in 2020—with another strong fiscal year in 2022.
Top-line results benefited in part from an extra week on Weis Markets’ fiscal calendar. For the 14-week quarter ended Dec. 31, net sales climbed 18% to $1.31 billion from almost $1.11 billion in the 13-week 2021 quarter, the Sunbury, Pa.-based supermarket chain reported on Monday. That came atop an 8% net sales gain in the year-ago period.
Adjusted for the additional week, Q4 comparable-store sales rose 9.5% year over year, building on a 6.9% uptick in the prior-year period for 16.4% growth over two years, Weis Markets noted. The stacked same-store sales gain compared with a 14.1% increase for the COVID-fueled 2020 fourth quarter.
Net sales for the 53-week 2022 fiscal year came in at about $4.7 billion, up 11.2% from $4.22 billion in fiscal 2021, which had 52 weeks and generated a 2.7% year-over-year gain at the top line. Comp-store sales, adjusted for the extra week in 2022, advanced 8.8% from 2021, which saw a 1.7% same-store sales gain, and drove 10.5% growth on a two-year stack. That compared with 16.4% comp-sales growth amid the booming grocery demand during fiscal 2020.
“We continued our positive momentum in the fourth quarter, which contributed to a strong fiscal year 2022,” Weis Markets Chairman, President and CEO Jonathan Weis said in a statement.
“Our fourth-quarter results were favorably impacted by disciplined loyalty marketing programs and ongoing price investments across the store. The focus on customer experience, along with leveraging store-level and supply-chain efficiencies, helped offset some of the current inflationary pressures of higher product, fuel, utilities and other operating costs,” he noted.
On the earnings side, Weis Markets posted 2022 fourth-quarter net income of $28.9 million, or $1.07 per share, up 27.7% from $22.6 million, or 84 cents per share, in the 2021 quarter. Full-year 2022 net earnings totaled $125.2 million, or $4.65 per share, up 15% from $108.8 million, or $4.05 per share, in fiscal 2021.
“We also continued to reinvest in our future through execution of our multi-year capital expenditures program, completing 10 store remodels, three new fuel centers, one new store, one rebuild and a record number of smaller projects, which help us efficiently serve our customers,” Weis added. “We are grateful to our dedicated store, supply-chain, manufacturing, and support-center associates who make our success possible.”
Following its record performance in fiscal 2021, Weis Markets had upped its capital expenditure budget by 11% to $150 million for 2022. Plans called for investments in new stores, remodels, fuel centers, IT upgrades and over 1,000 store improvement projects that sharpened operational efficiency and enhanced the customer experience.
Weis Markets closed out fiscal 2022 with 197 stores—the same as a year ago—in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Virginia.