MATTHEWS, N.C.-Fourth-quarter net income for Family Dollar totaled $80.9 million, up 1.4 percent from last year’s fourth quarter, in what was a quarter of record sales and earnings for the dollar-store retailer. The results for the quarter, which ended on Aug. 25, brought net income for the year to $422.2 million, an increase of 8.7 percent from the prior fiscal year.
Net sales for the quarter totaled $2.4 billion, up 10.8 percent from last year’s fourth quarter and including a same-store sales increase of 5.4 percent. For the year, net sales were $9.3 billion, a gain of 9.2 percent and including a 4.7 percent pickup in same-store sales.
Howard R. Levine, Family Dollar’s chairman and CEO, described the fiscal year as “a year of great progress” for the retailer. “We expanded our merchandise assortment to increase our relevancy to our customers,” Levine said. “We continued to improve the shopability of our stores, and we repositioned our leadership team to better support our growth.”
Fiscal 2012 for Family Dollar included the opening of 475 new stores, including its first locations in California; the company now has 41 stores in that state. In addition, Family Dollar renovated, relocated or expanded 854 stores. The company’s store count now totals more than 7,400.
Looking ahead, Levine said, “Our financial goals over the next three to five years are to consistently deliver 5 to 7 percent net new store growth, mid-single-digit comp-sales growth, operating margin expansion and double-digit earnings-per-share growth.”
In the fourth quarter, Family Dollar posted gross margin of 33.8 percent, down 17 basis points from its fourth-quarter gross margin of a year ago. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 10.4 percent in dollars, but dropped nine basis points as a percentage of sales, to 27.7 percent.