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Net income climbs 90.2% at Belk
01
Apr '11
Belk Inc announced operating results for the fiscal year ended January 29, 2011.

Tim Belk, chairman and chief executive officer of Belk, Inc., said, “We had an outstanding year with significant increases in sales and profits. Our re-branding launch in the third quarter, combined with effective execution of other key merchandising, marketing andcustomer service strategies, produced excellent sales and margin growth.

“Along with gaining market share, we're focused on the future as we make major investments in our company to assure long-term growth and success. These involve investing in our merchant organization, information technology and new departmental prototypes. We're extremely proud of our talented team of more than 22,000 associates whose hard work and dedicated efforts last year enabled us to launch our new brand and at the same time produce outstanding results.”

Net Sales
Net sales for the 52-week period increased 5.0 percent to $3.51 billion compared to the prior-year period. On a comparable store basis, sales increased 5.1 percent. The increase was due to improved sales trends and strong results in the fourth quarter. The merchandise categories with the best sales performance for the year included shoes, cosmetics, men's and home.

Net Income
Net income increased 90.2 percent to $127.6 million for the year compared to $67.1 million for the prior-year period. The increase was due primarily to higher sales and improved margins. The gross margin performance was the result of strong customer response to the company's fashion and value offerings combined with disciplined inventory management. Net income excluding non-comparable items for the year was $127.4 million compared to $95.2 million for the prior year. A detailed reconciliation of net income to net income excluding non-comparable items is provided at the end of this release.

Store Expansions and Remodelings
Belk opened one new store during the year in Port Orange, Fla. and completed four store remodeling projects at Hamilton Place Mall, Chattanooga, Tenn., Hattiesburg, Miss., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and South Boston, Va. The company also continued its departmental expansion and remodeling program that included the completion of 16 shoe department expansions and remodels, 209 new denim shops and 19 fashion jewelry remodels.

Belk Declares Dividend, Announces Stock Buyback
The company's board of directors declared a regular dividend of $.55 per share for shareholders of record on March 30, 2011. The board also announced approval of an offer to repurchase up to 2,200,000 shares of the company's common stock at a price of $33.70 per share. The company expects to launch the repurchase offer on or about April 18, 2011.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. is the nation's largest privately owned mainline department store company with 305 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states. The company was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., and is in the third generation of Belk family leadership. Its belk.com Web site offers a wide assortment of fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home.

Belk Inc

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