THE WOODLANDS, Texas-A huge gain in sales, both total and same-store, took specialty retailer Conn’s to record first-quarter net income of $28.5 million, up 28.4 percent from the first quarter of last year.
Net sales in the quarter, which ended on April 30, reached $277.6 million, an increase of 32.6 percent from last year and including a same-store sales gain of 15.6 percent. Theodore Wright, Conn’s chairman and CEO, said furniture and mattresses posted solid sales increases in the quarter, thanks to the opening of new stores and an expansion of the product offerings.
Gross margin picked up 120 basis points to finish the quarter at 41.6 percent, the result of a favorable shift in product mix, according to Wright. Selling, general and administrative expenses were up 36.8 percent in dollars and 111 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 36.1 percent.
New store openings to expand Conn’s geographic footprint are in the offing for the remainder of the fiscal year, Wright said. “All of our new stores are performing at or above our expectations,” he said. “We incurred substantial costs related to these stores and the related distribution network during the quarter, which we expect to become better levered over the balance of the year.”