Publix continued its sales momentum in the second quarter even amid a challenging comparison with its year-ago pandemic-fueled increases.
The grocer’s sales rose 3.9% to $11.8 billion for the three months ended June 26, from $11.4 billion in the year-ago period. Comparable store sales increased 2.3%.
Net earnings fell 26.2% to $1 billion, compared to $1.4 billion last year amid stockpiling by consumers during the pandemic. Earnings per share decreased to $1.46 per share, down from $1.94 per share in 2020.
Adjusted net earnings, excluding net unrealized gains on equity securities, were $920.3 million, or $1.33 per share, versus $978.3 million, or $1.39 per share, a year earlier.
Publix’s sales for the six months ended June 26, 2021 were $23.5 billion, up 3.9% increase from $22.6 billion in 2020. Comparable store sales for the period increased 2.4%.
Net earnings for the six months ended June 26, 2021 were $2.5 billion, compared to $2 billion in 2020, an increase of 23.1%. On an adjusted basis, net earnings for the first six months were $1.8 billion, or $2.65 per share, versus $1.9 billion, or $2.74 per share, in the first half of 2020.
Effective Aug. 1, 2021, Publix’s stock price increased from $61.30 per share to $63.10 per share. (Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.)
Last week, the company said that, in response to the surge of COVID cases across the U.S., that “effective Aug. 2, Publix is requiring associates, regardless of their vaccination status, to wear face coverings over their noses and mouths while inside any Publix location.”
“We encourage all to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. Customers and associates should remain physically distanced from others while inside any Publix store,” the retailer stated.
“Throughout the pandemic, our associates have continued to provide legendary customer service,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “I’m so thankful to serve alongside them in making shopping at Publix a pleasure.”
Publix operates 1,273 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.