COLUMBUS, Ohio-Increased expenses and falling margins offset a slight uptick in sales to cut 20.6 percent away from Big Lots first-quarter net income, which tallied $32.3 million.
Selling, general and administrative expenses were up 3.4 percent in dollars and 70 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 33 percent. Gross margin dropped 20 basis points to 39.4 percent.
Consolidated net sales in the quarter, which ended on May 4, were up 1.3 percent to $1.3 billion. This included a decline of 2.5 percent in consolidated same-store sales. Sales for Big Lots’ U.S. operations were up 1 percent, while same-store sales for the U.S. stores fell 2.9 percent. In the company’s Canadian operations, total sales jumped 13.5 percent, and same-store sales increased 13.2 percent.
Based on these results, Big Lots said it expects its second-quarter sales to range between a decrease of 1 percent to a gain of 1 percent. Same-store sales should fall by between 2 and 4 percent in the quarter, the company said.