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Nordstrom Q2 profit jumps 20% on higher sales

Aug '06
Fashion retailer Nordstrom Inc has reported net earnings of $178.8 million, or $0.67 per diluted share, for the second quarter ended July 29, 2006.

For the same period last year, net earnings were $148.9 million, or $0.53 per diluted share. Total sales for the second quarter of 2006 increased 7.8 percent to $2.3 billion, compared to sales of $2.1 billion in the same period last year. Second quarter same-store sales increased 5.7 percent.

Net earnings increased 20.0 percent in the second quarter compared to the same quarter last year, reflecting steady improvement in merchandise execution, inventory productivity, and expense leverage, as well as a one-time Visa/Master card settlement gain.

The company continues to focus on providing a differentiated shopping experience and achieving long-term profitable growth.

-- Same-store sales increased 5.7 percent for the quarter, higher than the company's one to three percent same-store sales plan. Regular price selling was strong during the quarter and the initial response to fall merchandise was favorable. The following full-line store merchandise divisions performed above the company's average: intimate apparel, accessories, designer apparel, and cosmetics. Also notable, same-store sales in the Rack division increased 11.6 percent.

-- Gross profit, as a percent of sales, increased 26 basis points. Overall merchandise margin improved versus the prior year. Better than planned sales results drove incremental leverage on buying and occupancy expenses.

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