Harris Teeter sales increased by 8.1% to $1.10 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2011, compared to sales of $1.02 billion in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. For the 39 weeks ended July 3, 2011, sales rose 6.4% to $3.18 billion from $2.99 billion in the same period of fiscal 2010. The increase in sales for both the quarter and 39-week period was attributable to an increase in comparable store sales of 4.37% for the quarter and 2.68% for the 39-week period ended July 3, 2011, incremental new store sales and a one week shift in the fiscal year which resulted in the reporting of the July Fourth Holiday sales in the third fiscal quarter of 2011 as compared to the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. For purposes of computing comparable store sales, the July Fourth Holiday sales were included in the third fiscal quarters for both fiscal 2011 and 2010, whereas the Easter Holiday sales were included in the third fiscal quarter of 2011 and the second fiscal quarter of 2010. Management estimated that the Easter Holiday shift positively impacted the comparable stores sales calculation by approximately 79 basis points for the quarter ended July 3, 2011.
Since the third quarter of fiscal 2010, Harris Teeter has opened six new stores (one of which replaced an existing store) and closed one store, for a net addition of five stores. Harris Teeter operated 204 stores at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2011.
Harris Teeter’s operating profit for the third quarter of fiscal 2011 increased by 17.5% to $50.7 million (4.60% of sales) from $43.1 million (4.23% of sales) in the third quarter of fiscal 2010. For the 39 weeks ended July 3, 2011, operating profit increased by 10.2% to $146.0 million (4.59% of sales), from $132.5 million (4.43% of sales) in the prior year period. Operating profit was impacted by new store pre-opening costs of $1.5 million (0.14% of sales) and $1.8 million (0.18% of sales) in the third quarters of fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2010, respectively. Pre-opening costs for the 39-week periods ended July 3, 2011 and June 27, 2010 were $5.4 million (0.17% of sales) and $6.6 million (0.22% of sales), respectively. New store pre-opening costs fluctuate between reporting periods depending on the new store opening schedule and location.