Ruddick Corporation (NYSE:RDK) (the “Company”) today reported that consolidated sales for the fiscal third quarter ended July 3, 2011 increased by 8.1% to $1.19 billion, from $1.10 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. For the 39 weeks ended July 3, 2011, consolidated sales increased by 6.7% to $3.43 billion from $3.21 billion for the comparable period of fiscal 2010. The increase in consolidated sales for the quarter and 39-week period was attributable to sales increases at both of the Company’s operating subsidiaries - Harris Teeter, the Company’s supermarket subsidiary, and American & Efird (“A&E”), the Company’s sewing thread and technical textiles subsidiary.
The Company reported that consolidated net earnings in the third quarter of fiscal 2011 increased by 11.2% to $32.1 million, or $0.66 per diluted share, from $28.9 million, or $0.59 per diluted share in the prior year third quarter. For the 39 weeks ended July 3, 2011, consolidated net earnings increased by 25.0% to $100.1 million, or $2.05 per diluted share, from $80.1 million, or $1.65 per diluted share in the same period of fiscal 2010. The increase in net earnings for the fiscal quarter was driven by operating profit improvements at both Harris Teeter and A&E when compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2010. The increase in net earnings for the 39-week period was driven by operating profit improvements at both operating subsidiaries and a pre-tax gain of $19.5 million ($10.3 million after tax or $0.21 per diluted share) from the sale of the Company’s interest in a foreign investment that was recorded in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. As previously disclosed, third quarter of fiscal 2010 results included a pre-tax gain of $2.1 million ($1.3 million after tax, or $0.03 per diluted share) on the exchange of one of the Company’s corporate aircraft.