Publix ended the year on a strong note as the ongoing pandemic continued to drive sales.
The grocery store retailer reported net earnings of $1 billion for the period ended Dec.26, compared to $789.3 million in 2019, an increase of 29.2%. Earnings per share increased to $1.47 per share, up from $1.11 per share in 2019.
Sales rose 14.8% to $11.2 billion. Comparable store sales increased 13.4%. The company estimated its third-quarter sales increased approximately $850 million, or 8.7%, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Publix’s sales for the full fiscal year increased 17.7% to $44.9 billion. Comparable store sales increased 16%. The company attributed approximately $4.6 billion or 12.1%, of its full-year sales to the impact of the pandemic.
Net earnings for the fiscal year were $4 billion, compared to $3 billion in 2019, an increase of 32.2%.
Effective March 1, 2021, Publix’s stock price increased from $57.95 per share to $60.20 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.)
Publix is administering vaccines at all 730 of its in-store pharmacies in Florida. It also is also offering vaccinations in Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia.
“It has been about a year since the start of the pandemic, and our associates’ efforts to serve our customers, communities and each other during this difficult time have been amazing,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “Now, by doing our part to administer the COVID 19 vaccine, we are proud to help our communities take the next step to return to normal.”
Publix currently operates 1,266 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.