Third-quarter profits of Drug Fair Inc. fell to $21.000 - a penny a share of common stock - despite a 6.4 percent increase in sales, the big drug chain reported yesterday.
Drug Fair's sales were $55.9 million for the three months ended March 31, compared with $52.5 million last year when the company earned $107,000 (6 cents a share). The chain reported a pre-tax loss of $184,000, compared with pre-tax profits of $219,000 the prior year.
For the first nine months of the year, Drug Fair earnings were off 3.1 percent, form $1.87 million to $1.81 million, while sales gained 4.4 percent, from $171 million to $179 million.
Drug Fair President Milton Ellsburg called the sales increase "a good sign in one of the most competitive marketplaces in the nation." But he added, "Our expenses have been rising faster that our sales," because of store remodelings, internal reorganization and labor cost, due in part to the higher federal minimum wage.
During the first nine months of its year, Elsburg noted, the chain has remodeled 10 stores, opened seven new drug stores, six Wrangled Wranch stores and two Scoops ice cream parlors.
Waspora Inc., the Washington environmental and energy consulting firm, reported net income of $104,000 (17 cents a share) for the nine months through March 31, compared with $51,000 (9 cents) last year.
Revenues grew from $2.7 million to $3.1 million, primarily because of expansion in environmental impact work.
Union Trust Bancrop. of Baltimore reported an 11.7 percent increase in earnings for the first quarter. Net income climbed to $2.1 million (85 cents a share) from 1.8 million (76 cents).
Chairman J. Stevenson Peck said a 23 percent increase in interest income was the main reason for the gain. Stronger loan activity was reported by the company's second mortage and consumer finance subsidiaries, as well as its bank, Union Trust Co. of Maryland.
A cost reduction program started in December cut non-interest costs by $598,000, Peck noted. Union Trust's assets increased 9 percent to $1.092 million from $997,000, with loans growing to $68 million and deposits to $829 million.
Alcolac Inc. of Baltimore said profits declined slightly for its third quarter, ended March 31, to $215,000 (15 cents a share) from $232,000 (16 cents) while sales grew to $6.8 million from $6.1 million.
The previous year's results were restated to reflect only continuing operations after the sale last year of its Fuld-Stalfort Division.
For the nine months, Alcolac said its net income increased to $752,000 from $724,000 and sales rose to $19.2 million from $18 million.
Preston Trucking Co. of Preston, Md., blamed winter blizzards that delayed trucks and increased maintenance, for cutting first-quarter earnings from $1.3 million to $533,000 (17 cents a share (42 cents).
Revenues of the line increased to $32 million from $27 million, but operating expenses increased by $7 million, overtaking the income growth.
President W. B. Potter said freight rate increases granted in April will be sufficient to cover labor costs. The company has ordered 300 new trailers and 146 diesel-powered tractors in anticipation of increased business this year, he added.
Government Services Savings and Loan of Bethesda, reported annual earnings increased 26 percent for the fiscal year ended March 31.
Net income climbed to $2.2 million ($2.70 a share) from $1.7 million ($2.14).
Government Services, which has four branches, said total assets rose 10 percent to $298 million from $271 million. Savings deposits increased 9 percent to $263 million from $241 million, and loans grew 11 percent to $252 million.
Chairman Arthur Phelan Jr. credited the asset growth and a substantial increase in the yeild on mortgage loans with the increase in profits.
For the fourth quarter, earnings increased 7 percent to $456,000 (56 cents a share) from $425,000 (52 cents).