Southeastern retail chain Publix enjoyed strong sales gains in the second quarter of 2018.

Sales at Lakeland, Florida-based Publix totaled $8.8 billion in the three months ending June 30, up 4 percent from the same quarter in 2017. Comparable store sales were up 1.7 percent.

Net earnings for the quarter were $616 million, up 25 percent from the same period the year before. Earnings per share were 84 cents, up from 65 cents.

Effective Aug. 1, Publix’s stock price increased from $41.75 per share to $42.55 per share. “Since the beginning of the year, our stock price has increased from $36.85 to $42.55, over 15 percent,” says Todd Jones, Publix’s CEO and president. “Our associates deserve the credit for continuing to make us a leader in customer service.”