COLUMBUS, Ohio-Reflecting a $25.2 million loss from its discontinued Canadian and wholesale operations, Big Lots posted first-quarter net income of $3.3 million, down 89.6 percent from the first quarter of last year.
After announcing in December that it would exit Canada, which it entered in 2011 with its acquisition of Liquidation World, the retailer wound down that operation during the first quarter, which ended on May 3. Income from its continuing U.S. operation totaled $28.6 million, down 22.9 percent from last year’s first quarter. In its statement on the quarter’s results, Big Lots said its earnings per share of 50 cents exceeded its expectations of from 40 to 45 cents a share.
Net sales for the continuing operation were $1.3 billion, up 1.1 percent and including a gain in same-store sales of 0.9 percent for stores open at least 15 months. Gross margin fell 110 basis points to 38.5 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses edged up 0.8 percent in dollars but fell back 10 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 32.6 percent.
Big Lots also said it now expects total sales for the full fiscal year to be flat to slightly up from the prior year, with same-store sales increasing by from 1 to 2 percent.