COLUMBUS, Ohio-Rising expenses offset a gain in sales to reduce Big Lots’ first-quarter net income by 22.3 percent, to $40.7 million.
An increase in cost of goods sold slimmed gross margin by 70 basis points to 39.6 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 8 percent in dollars and 80 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 32.3 percent.
Net sales gained 5.5 percent to $1.3 billion in the quarter, which ended on April 28. This included a 2.8 percent pickup in sales for Big Lots’ U.S. operations, which in itself included a 0.8 percent drop in same-store sales. Its Canadian operations, which opened last July 18 when Big Lots completed its acquisition of Liquidation World, reported a net loss of $6.1 million in the first quarter.
Based on the first-quarter numbers, Big Lots said it anticipates same-store sales in the second quarter to range from slightly negative to slightly positive. For the fiscal year as a whole, it expects same-store sales to range from flat to up 1 percent.