Second quarter operating expenses were $111.3 million, or 17.9 percent of net sales, compared to $112.8 million, or 18.2 percent of net sales in the same period last year due to continued productivity improvements in the distribution segment, lower employee-related expenses compared to the prior year period and the impact of unusual corporate professional fees in the second quarter of the prior year. The Company’s expense leverage was partially offset by a non-cash pre-tax asset impairment charge of $0.4 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, compared to a restructuring benefit of $0.1 million recorded in the same period last year.
Net sales for the distribution segment increased to $259.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 from $256.2 million in the same period last year.
Second quarter fiscal 2013 operating earnings for the distribution segment were $10.8 million compared to $8.8 million in the same period last year. The increase in operating earnings is due mainly to the cycling of unusual corporate professional fees in the prior year period, as well as continued improvements in warehouse efficiency and lower employee-related expenses, partially offset by a lower gross profit margin due primarily to a continuation of reduced inflation-driven inventory gains.Retail Segment Net sales for the retail segment were $362.3 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to $363.4 million in the same period last year. Comparable store sales, excluding fuel, were down 1.0 percent. As anticipated, second quarter sales were negatively affected by a one week shift in the quarter end date which resulted in less high volume summer sales days being included in this year’s second quarter. The calendar shift impacted comparable store sales by 70 basis points. Second quarter fiscal 2013 operating earnings for the retail segment were $8.1 million compared to $11.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2012. The decrease in operating earnings was primarily due to higher promotional expenses, reduced inflation-driven inventory gains, lower fuel margins and the aforementioned asset impairment charge.