WESTBOROUGH, Mass.–With sales of food and gasoline pushing overall net sales up by double digits, and with the company’s ability to keep expenses steady, BJ’s Wholesale Club enjoyed a 29 percent increase in net income in its first quarter, to $33.7 million.
Net sales grew 10 percent to $2.8 billion in the quarter, which ended on April 30, bolstered by a 4 percent increase in food sales and a 3.9 percent rise in same-club gas sales. BJ’s also said small appliances delivered a strong performance in comparable-club sales. Laura Sen, president and CEO, said the sales gain was above the company’s expectations for the quarter.
While selling, general and administrative expenses rose 4.7 percent in dollars in the quarter, they declined 43 basis points as a percentage of net sales to 8.6 percent. This helped offset a drop of 22 basis points in gross margin to 8.5 percent.
BJ’s said it now expects net income for the full fiscal year to finish between $147 million and $157 million, which would be a gain of between 55 percent and 65 percent over last year’s bottom line.