Harris Teeter sales boost Ruddick

Ruddick Corp. earnings increased 15.6 percent in its third quarter to $24.5 million, or 51 cents a share, the Charlotte-based parent company of grocer Harris Teeter and textile maker American & Efird said Thursday.

That's up from a net income of $21.2 million, or 44 cents a share, in the same April-June period last year.

Net sales also grew by 9.8 percent, to $1.01 billion, up from $923 million a year ago.

Continued strong sales at Harris Teeter were largely responsible for the gains, Ruddick said. Sales grew 10.8 percent, to $926.3 million, amid continued expansion into markets such as the Washington, D.C., area. The company has added 19 stores and closed four in the last year; six of the new stores opened in the third quarter.

Sales at Harris Teeter stores open a year or more, a key measure of retail performance, increased 1.7 percent.

Jen Aronoff

Nucor to expand its mill in Eastern N.C.

Nucor Corp. plans to install a $110 million steel plate heat-treating facility at its mill in Hertford County, company officials said Thursday.

Heat-treated plate is used in applications where higher strength, abrasion resistance and toughness are required.

Installation will begin after the company gets regulatory approvals and finalizes its equipment and other contracts, the Charlotte company's officials said.

Nucor's plate mill in Hertford County, in northeastern North Carolina near the Virginia line, began operating in 2000. Kirsten Valle