Weis Markets' Q2 earnings grew 12% from a year ago to US$23.2M as revenue remained virtually flat at US$677.1M; CEO says poor economy, intense competition are creating 'stagnant sales environment'

SUNBURY, Pennsylvania , July 31, 2012 () – Grocer Weis Markets Inc. said the weak economy and intense competition held its second-quarter sales nearly flat, but it was able to drive a 12 percent gain in profit on cost controls and efficiency improvements.

The Sunbury, Pa.-based company operates 162 grocery stores along the East Coast.

Weis earned $23.2 million, or 86 cents per share, for the quarter that ended June 30. That compares with $20.7 million, or 77 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue was $677.1 million for the period versus $676.7 million last year.

"We are operating in a stagnant sales environment resulting from the poor economy and intense competition," President and CEO David Hepfinger said in a statement.

Hepfinger said the company improved efficiency and productivity in its supply chain and stores. It also benefited from disciplined promotions and a decrease in depreciation expenses when it changed its reporting method.

Shares of Weis Markets gained 20 cents to $43.85 by early afternoon. Its shares have traded between $36.52 and $45.96 in the past 52 weeks.

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