LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—Dillard’s began its fiscal year by setting a new record in net income—$76.7 million, or 57 percent higher than in last year’s first quarter.
Expense controls on various levels provided the key to the department-store retailer’s healthy bottom line. The company reduced operating expenses (comprised of advertising, selling, administrative and general expenses) by 1 percent in dollars and 60 basis points as a percentage of net sales, mostly through decreased advertising costs. Its gross margin jumped 170 basis points to 38.8 percent, thanks to a 2 percent gain in same-store sales and improved inventory management.
Net sales for the quarter, which ended on April 30, rose 1 percent to $1.5 billion. This included a 2 percent increase in total merchandise sales.
William Dillard II, Dillard’s CEO, said, “These results speak for themselves and further affirm the success of our initiatives to create clear distinction at Dillard’s and to return value to our shareholders.”