COLUMBUS, Ohio–Rising expenses and an operating loss from its recently acquired Canadian operation slashed Big Lots’ third-quarter net income by 76 percent, to $4.2 million.
Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 8.1 percent in dollars and 10 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 36.2 percent. The company also reported a 17 percent rise in depreciation expense and a 22 percent increase in interest expense. Gross margin fell 152 basis points to 39 percent.
Big Lots’ Canadian locations registered an operating loss of 6.9 million in the third quarter, which ended on Oct. 29. The company began this segment in July when it acquired Liquidation World, thus giving it 85 stores north of the border.
The expense increases offset a 7.8 percent increase in third-quarter sales, which totaled $1.1 billion. This included a pickup of 1.7 percent in U.S. same-store sales. Big Lots projected a same-store sales rise of 1 to 2 percent for its U.S. stores in its fiscal fourth quarter.