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Weis controls expenses and improves income for Q3

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets reported a 1.2% increase in net income to $17.2 million for its third quarter thanks to disciplined promotions, increased store-level productivity and improved efficiency. Earnings per share increased 1.6% to 64 cents per share compared with the same period in 2011.

For the period, the company's sales decreased 1.5% to $668.4 million while comparable stores decreased 1.7%. Weis attributed its sales results to an unfavorable year over year comparison. In September 2011, a majority of its stores located in Pennsylvania and New York counties were impacted by flooding due to Hurricanes Irene and Lee, resulting in emergency sales surges throughout these areas.

Compared to the same period in 2011, the company's third quarter sales were also impacted by a $4.5 million decline in pharmacy sales due to the conversion of brand drugs to generic.  As part of its strategy to offset this decline, the company has expanded its immunization programs.

Weis said its sales were also impacted by cautious consumer spending due to high unemployment in Northeastern Pennsylvania, New York's Southern Tier and parts of Central Pennsylvania along with higher gas prices throughout its five state market area.