Publix Super Markets Inc. has once again shattered its own annual revenue record.
The Lakeland-based grocer on Wednesday reported 2016 revenue of $34 billion, up more than 5 percent from 2015’s $32.4 billion. Annual profits rose to $2.03 billion, an increase of more than 3 percent over 2015, when profits were $1.97 billion.
Same-store sales rose just 1.9 percent year over year. In 2015, same-store sales were up 4.2 percent over the year prior. Same-store sales are a crucial measure of a retailer’s financial health, because the figure doesn’t take into account sales growth from new locations.
In the 14-week fourth quarter, sales were $9.1 billion, a more than 11 percent increase from $8.2 billion in 2015 (the previous fourth quarter was only 13 weeks). Net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2016 were $544.5 million, up 4.5 percent from $521.1 million in 2015.
The extra week in the fourth quarter of 2016 increased sales by more than 7 percent. Same-store sales in the fourth quarter of 2016 increased 2.2 percent.
The grocery industry has been pummeled in recent months by food price deflation. Within Publix’s seven-state footprint, competition has also increased, with a surge of new concepts entering the region. Sprouts Farmers Market Inc., based in Phoenix, recently opened its first Florida store in Tampa.
Publix opened 32 new stores in 2016 and remodeled 156. Last year, capital expenditures totaled $1.4 billion; in 2017, Publix forecasts it will spend $1.85 billion, primarily on opening new stores. But expenditures will also be for remodeling existing stores, new or enhanced information technology hardware and applications and acquiring shopping centers where Publix is the anchor tenant.
The grocer remains the largest company in Tampa Bay, but Tech Data Corp. is on track to surpass Publix because the Feb. 27 purchase of the technology solutions business of Avnet will push Tech Data’s revenue to about $35 billion.
In 2014, Publix was the first company headquartered in Tampa Bay to surpass $30 billion in annual revenue.
The grocer has 36,400 local employees and more than 180,000 throughout the Southeast.
Publix’s stock price increased from $40.15 per share to $40.90 per share. Publix stock is not publicly traded and is made available for sale only to current Publix associates and members of its board of directors.