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Strong 2010 financial outlook - Dollar General
02
Apr '10
Dollar General Corporation reported financial results for its fiscal 2009 fourth quarter (13 weeks) and full year (52 weeks) ended January 29, 2010. Fourth quarter 2009 net income was $87.2 million, or diluted earnings per share ("EPS") of $0.26, compared to net income of $81.9 million, or diluted EPS of $0.26, in the fourth quarter (13 weeks) of fiscal 2008.

The Company incurred charges totaling $123.5 million ($85.7 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, net of income taxes) during the fourth quarter 2009 relating to the termination of a sponsor advisory agreement with Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. ("KKR") and Goldman, Sachs & Co., the acceleration of certain equity-based compensation and the early retirement of long-term obligations. Excluding these charges, adjusted net income for the fourth quarter 2009 increased 121 percent to $172.9 million, or adjusted diluted EPS of $0.51, over adjusted net income in the 2008 fourth quarter of $78.1 million, or adjusted diluted EPS of $0.25, which adjusted 2008 amounts exclude the impact of a $2.5 million credit ($1.5 million credit, net of income taxes) related to the settlement of a shareholder lawsuit and a $3.8 million gain ($2.3 million gain, net of income taxes) related to the early retirement of long-term obligations.

"Dollar General had another outstanding year in 2009. We are continuing to execute on our operating priorities with precision and discipline," said Rick Dreiling, chairman and chief executive officer. "We delivered strong same-store sales growth of 9.5 percent for the year on top of 9.0 percent same-store sales growth in 2008. We completed our second decade of consecutive annual same-store sales growth by providing our customers with value and convenience as we continue to improve our merchandise assortment and upgrade our in-store experience."

"We accomplished these objectives while investing for future growth, a balance that positions us well for the long-term," said Mr. Dreiling. "We are confident that we have the right strategy in place to continue building on our track record of profitable growth as we enter 2010."

As of January 29, 2010, total merchandise inventories, at cost, were $1.52 billion compared to $1.41 billion as of January 30, 2009, an increase of 7.4 percent, or 1.7 percent on a per-store basis. Increases in the consumables and seasonal inventories are partially offset by decreases in apparel and home products inventories. Annual inventory turns improved to 5.3 times in 2009 compared to 5.2 times in 2008. As a percentage of inventories, accounts payable, excluding the portion in each year related to capital expenditures, increased to 52.7 percent in 2009 from 47.4 percent in 2008.

2010 Financial Outlook

The Company remains committed to continuing its focus on productive sales growth, increasing gross margins, leveraging process improvements and information technology to reduce costs and strengthening and expanding Dollar General's culture of serving others.

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