Gross profit for the June 2013 quarter increased 2.1% to $210.3 million, an increase of $4.4 million compared with the third quarter of last fiscal year. Gross profit, as a percentage of sales, rose to 22.6% for the June 2013 quarter compared with 22.4% for the June 2012 quarter. The improvement in gross profit and margin were driven by higher sales, improved product mix and improved operating efficiencies from the distribution facility opened in June 2012. Excluding gasoline sales, grocery segment gross profit as a percentage of sales increased 49 basis points for the three months ended June 29, 2013, compared with the same quarter of last fiscal year.
Operating and administrative expenses for the June 2013 quarter totaled $177.8 million, an increase of $5.5 million, or 3.2% over the June 2012 quarter. Excluding gasoline sales and associated operating expenses (primarily payroll), operating and administrative expenses as a percentage of sales were 22.5% of sales for the third fiscal quarter of 2013 compared with 22.0% for the third fiscal quarter of 2012. Most of the increase for the June 2013 quarter was driven by the Company’s store remodeling program which resulted in higher personnel costs and depreciation expense.
In June 2013, the Company issued $700 million of senior notes due 2023 at a rate of 5.75%. Proceeds were used to repay $575 million of senior notes due 2017 at a rate of 9.5%, repay certain other debt, and pay the costs of the transaction, including prepayment penalties on the 9.5% notes. These prepayment penalties and the write off of other costs on repaid debt totaled $43.1 million and were charged to earnings during the June 2013 quarter. The decreased interest rate on the new senior notes is expected to provide the Company substantial interest savings in future years.
Interest expense increased $1.1 million for the three-month period ended June 29, 2013, to $16.0 million from $14.9 million for the three-month period ended June 23, 2012. Total debt at June 29, 2013, was $934.5 million compared with $846.1 million at June 23, 2012. The increase in total debt took place late in the June 2013 quarter in conjunction with the senior note issue and related transactions.
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