Big Lots Net Falls 17.9 Percent in Q2

Big LotsCOLUMBUS, Ohio-A weak sales performance, especially from its U.S. stores, and higher expenses led to a 17.9 percent drop in second-quarter net income for Big Lots.

The bottom line in the quarter, which ended on Aug. 3, totaled $18.1 million. Net sales tallied $1.2 billion, 0.6 percent ahead of its second-quarter total from a year ago.

Net sales in Big Lots’ U.S. stores were up 0.4 percent, including a 2.2 percent decrease in same-store sales. The company’s Canadian stores logged an 8.2 percent increase in total sales and an 8.3 percent gain in same-store sales.

Gross margin in the quarter slipped 10 basis points to 39.1 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 1.5 percent in dollars and 30 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 34.1 percent.

Based on these results, Big Lots has projected fiscal 2013 to finish with a net sales gain from its U.S. locations of from flat to 1 percent, with same-store sales trending from flat to down 1 percent. Net sales from the Canadian stores should post an increase of from 7 to 12 percent for both total sales and same-store sales, the company said.