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Dollar General reports increase of same store sales in August
04
Sep '08
Dollar General Corporation announced financial results for the second quarter and 26 weeks ended August 1, 2008.

Sales for the quarter increased 11.2 percent to $2.61 billion compared to $2.35 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2007. Same store sales increased 10.1 percent with customer traffic and average transaction amount contributing significantly to the sales increase.

The second quarter gross profit rate increased by 250 basis points from last year, to 29.1 percent, driven by improvements in shrink, lower markdowns and improved distribution logistics efficiencies, which more than offset increased fuel costs and a LIFO charge of $16.0 million in the 2008 quarter. Selling, general and administrative expense (“SG&A”), as a percentage of sales, decreased 111 basis points from the 2007 quarter.

Excluding certain expenses from each year related to strategic initiatives and the change in ownership of the Company, as listed in the accompanying table, SG&A as a percentage of sales decreased 47 basis points, driven by sales leverage and lower depreciation, advertising, workers' compensation and employee benefits expense, partially offset by higher incentive compensation expense associated with 2008 financial performance.

For the second quarter, the Company reported net income of $27.7 million compared with a net loss of $68.8 million for the combined Predecessor and Successor periods in the 2007 second quarter. EBITDA (earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization) increased to $200.1 million in the 2008 second quarter from $5.8 million in the 2007 second quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA, as defined in the Company's credit agreements and calculated in the attached schedule, was $225.7 million in the 2008 second quarter, an increase of $80.5 million, or 55 percent, from the 2007 second quarter.

For the 26-week year-to-date period, total sales increased 8.4 percent, including a 7.8 percent increase in same store sales. The gross profit rate increased 177 basis points to 28.9 percent and SG&A as a percentage of sales decreased 103 basis points to 23.9 percent. As a result, the Company reported net income of $33.6 million in the 2008 year-to-date period compared to a net loss of $35.2 million in the 2007 year-to-date combined Predecessor and Successor periods.

EBITDA increased to $368.9 million in the 2008 period from $109.6 million in the 2007 period and Adjusted EBITDA, as defined in the Company's credit agreements and calculated in the attached schedule, was $408.4 million in the 2008 period, an increase of $120.3 million, or 42 percent, over the 2007 period.

“We are encouraged by Dollar General's strong financial performance during the second quarter and first half of 2008 in spite of the challenging economic environment,” said Rick Dreiling, Chief Executive Officer. “We achieved solid same store sales growth and gross margin expansion and were able to further leverage our SG&A spend, all of which resulted in continued improvement in our profitability.

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