GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn.-Dollar General ended its fiscal year by breaking records for net income and net sales in the fourth quarter.
Net income jumped 31 percent in the quarter, which ended on Feb. 3, to finish at $292.5 million. Net sales rose 20 percent to $4.2 billion, including a same-store sales increase of 6.5 percent. For the fiscal year, net income gained 22 percent to $766.7 million, while net sales totaled $14.8 billion, 14 percent ahead of the prior year.
Commenting on “another exceptional year,” Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO, said it was the result of the company’s ability to execute its operating priorities and “significant investments. These strategies and investments we have put in place over the last four years have helped us capture the market share, customer loyalty and operating efficiencies that are driving our results.”
Gross margin in the quarter fell 25 basis points, to 32.2 percent, due largely to a higher mix of low-margin consumables purchases. Selling, general and administrative expenses increase 16 percent in dollars, but fell 68 basis points as a percentage of sales to 20 percent. Interest expense was slimmed 39 percent as well.
Dreiling added that sales in the current fiscal year have made a strong start. He projected total sales growth for fiscal 2012 to reach 10 to 11 percent, with a same-store sales increase of from 3 to 5 percent.