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Cato same store sales sleep 1%

Aug '08
The Cato Corporation reported sales of $62.1 million for the four weeks ended August 2, 2008, an increase of 2% over sales of $60.7 million for the four weeks ended August 4, 2007. Comparable store sales for the month decreased 1%.

Sales for the second quarter ended August 2, 2008 were $231.0 million, a 5% increase over sales of $219.0 million for the second quarter ended August 4, 2007. Second quarter comparable store sales increased 2%.

Sales for the first half were $456.7 million, an increase of 3% over the prior year's first half sales of $443.1 million. Comparable store sales for the first half were flat compared to first half 2007.

"Our comparable store sales trend was lower in July than in the past several months," commented John Cato, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe the benefit we have received from the stimulus checks has begun to decrease.

As part of our normal review of store performance, we made the decision to close 47 underperforming stores at the end of July. After accruing the costs of closing these stores and incurring significantly higher medical expense, we now expect second quarter earnings per diluted share to be in the range of $.40 to $.42 versus our previous guidance of $.42 to $.44 and $.39 last year."

During the month of July, the Company opened 7 stores and closed 50 stores including three It's Fashion stores closed upon the opening of new It's Fashion Metro stores. New stores opened in Montgomery, AL, Little Rock, AR, Westwego, LA, Durham, NC, Augusta and Rock Hill, SC, and Tyler, TX.

Cato Corporation

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