Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Tops had a very good second quarter this year, largely thanks to better than expected results from new and remodeled stores, as well as its popular Monopoly promotion.
The supermarket chain reported profits had improved sharply to $9.5 million for the second quarter of 2012, compared with $300,000 from the same period last year.
Tops executives said Tuesday they were pleased with the company’s second-quarter performance.
“We are encouraged by our current trends and expect to build on this momentum throughout the remainder of the year,” said Frank Curci, Tops president and CEO.
Profitability strengthened and sales improved, mainly because of the timing of the Monopoly promotion and the traditionally slow week after Easter shopping period.
That week fell during the first quarter of this year and the second quarter of 2011. The Monopoly promotion ran from April to July this year to coincide with the week after Easter, rather than from January to April, as it did last year.
“We managed our promotional activity and merchandising efforts and continued to implement operational efficiencies in this uncertain economic environment, driving improvements in both gross and operating margin,” said Rick Mills, Tops senior vice president and chief financial officer.
During the quarter, the supermarket chain’s total sales rose to $562.4 million from $559.5 million. Gasoline sales increased by 2.1 percent. Tops also cut expenses by 2 percent, including a $1.9 million savings in utility costs.
Tops officials said they expect the company’s deal with GU Markets LLC, an affiliate of C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc., to acquire 21 supermarkets in upstate New York and Vermont will close during the fall. The acquisition, announced in July, is expected to be funded using cash on hand. The purchase price has not been disclosed.
Tops is hopeful the new stores will be profitable and fit in with the chain’s plans.
“We are confident in our ability to seamlessly integrate these 21 supermarkets,” Curci said.Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.