Weis Earnings Up 14.5%, Sales Flat In 4th Qtr; Mignola Upped To SVP-Ops

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On March 5, Weis Markets, Inc. reported increased fourth quarter and year end net income, however saw overall revenue and comp store sales decrease for both the fourth period and full fiscal year. The Sunbury, PA-based regional chain said these results were achieved in a 52-week fiscal year compared to a 53-week fiscal year in 2011.

For the 13-week period ending December 29, 2012, the company’s net income increased 14.5 percent to $22.1 million compared to $19.3 million for the 14-week period ending December 31, 2011. Fourth quarter earnings per share increased 15.3 percent to $.83 per share compared to the same period in 2011.

In the fourth quarter, operating income increased 23.5 percent to $34.8 million. For the 13-week period ending December 29, 2012, the Weis’ overall sales decreased 5.9 percent to $694.3 million compared to $737.8 million for the 14-week period ending December 31, 2011 while comparable store sales decreased 7.0 percent for the same period. Adjusting for the 52-week to 53-week comparison, Weis’ sales increased 1.1 percent while its net income increased 36.8 percent. The company said its adjusted comparable store sales were flat.

“We continue to operate in an economy significantly impacted by slow economic growth, high unemployment and declining household income. As a result of these continuing trends, our customers were cautious in their spending in 2012,” said David J. Hepfinger, Weis Markets’ president and CEO. “We successfully worked through these challenges by efficiently managing and improving our stores and supply chain which helped us drive strong net income increases and maintain our market share. Our results also benefited from record investments in our store base, which will continue in 2013.”

For the 52-week period ending December 29, 2012, Weis’ net income increased 9.2 percent to $82.5 million compared to $75.6 million for the 53-week period in 2011.

For the fiscal year, the retailer’s operating income increased 11.2 percent to $127.0 million. During the same period, its earnings per share increased $.26 to $3.07 per share.  For the 52-week period ending December 29, 2012, the company’s sales decreased 1.9 percent to $2.7 billion compared to the 53-week period in 2011 while comparable store sales decreased 2.0 percent.

Adjusting for the 52-week to 53-week comparison, the regional retailer’s 2012 net income increased 13.9 percent while its sales and comparable store sales were flat.

Weis also made two recent personnel announcements. Mike Mignola has been promoted to senior vice president of store operations and Rick Seipp was named vice president of pharmacy.

In his new position, Mignola will continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of the company’s 165 stores. Prior to his promotion, he was vice president of store operations, a position he held since 2011. Mignola will continue to report to Weis Markets president and CEO David J. Hepfinger.

During his 33 year career, Mignola has held a number of leadership positions in store operations and merchandising. He joined Weis Markets in 2008 as general manager-Maryland and West Virginia. In the following years, he worked as regional vice president for the same region and vice president of merchandising before becoming vice president of store operations in 2011.

Earlier in his career, he worked as a store manager, deli and center store specialist and regional director.

Seipp had previously served as the company’s director of pharmacy operations. In his new position, he will oversee the day-to-day merchandising, operation and management of Weis Markets’ 131 pharmacies. He will also oversee the company’s Lifestyle Initiatives’ team, which focuses on health and wellness issues. He reports to Kurt Schertle, executive vice president, sales and merchandising.

Prior to joining Weis in 2010, Seipp worked at Rite Aid. Earlier in his career, he worked as a store level pharmacist, pharmacy manager, pharmacy system development manager and district manager.

Seipp is a graduate of Wilkes University’s School of Pharmacy.