Matthews-based supermarket chain Harris Teeter reported Thursday that it swung to a fourth-quarter profit after a loss during the same quarter last year, as sales rose and the retailer kept costs in check.
Harris Teeters sales increased 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year, at $1.14 billion. Sales at stores open a year or more, considered a key measure of a retailers health, rose 3 percent.
The company reported a net profit of $22.8 million for the quarter, up from an $8.9 million loss during the same quarter last year. Harris Teeter operates 208 stores now, and increased its total square footage by 4.5 percent, through store openings and expansions.
In a news release, Harris Teeter said it is still wary looking ahead. The Companys management remains cautious in its expectations for fiscal 2013 due to the current economic environment and its impact on the Companys customers, said Harris Teeter.
For the full year, Harris Teeters sales were up 5.8 percent, to $4.5 billion, but profits fell 9.5 percent, to $82.5 million. The company said its full-year results were weighed down by a transaction in which Harris Teeter bought 10 Charlotte-area Lowes Foods locations. That shaved $15 millions from its earnings, the company said.