Southeastern retail giant Publix’s sales were up in the third quarter of 2017 — thanks in large part to Hurricane Irma.
Third-quarter sales at Lakeland, Florida-based Publix totaled $8.5 billion, 6.2 percent more than in the third quarter of 2016. The company estimates that 3.1 percent of that increase was due to Irma, with inventory losses due to power outages and other expenses more than offset by incremental sales.
“We have faced many hurricanes in our past, but none with the size and impact of Hurricane Irma,” says Publix’s CEO and president, Todd Jones. “I could not be more proud of our associates for their passionate service to our customers before and after the hurricane.”
Publix also reported a comparable-stores sales increase of 4.3 percent in the quarter. Net earnings also were up, from $421 million in the third quarter of last year to $475 million this year. And earnings per share increased from $.55 to $.63.
Publix’s sales for the first nine months of 2017 were $25.6 billion, a 3 percent increase from last year’s $24.9 billion, and comparable-store sales for the first nine months of 2017 increased 1.2 percent. The company estimates sales increased 1 percent due to the impact of Irma for the first nine months of 2017.
Net earnings for the first nine months of 2017 were $1.53 billion, compared to $1.48 billion in 2016, an increase of 3 percent. Earnings per share increased to $2.01 for the first nine months of 2017, up from $1.92 per share in 2016.