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Off-price retailer Ross Stores announces June sales

Jul '05
Nation's second largest off-price company Ross Stores Inc reported sales of $440 million for the five weeks ended July 2, 2005, a 15% increase above the $381 million in sales for the five weeks ended July 3, 2004.

Comparable store sales for the month of June increased 6% over the prior year.

For the five months ended July 2, 2005, sales were $1.934 billion, a 14% increase over the $1.691 billion in sales for the prior year's comparable period ended July 3, 2004. Comparable store sales for the five months grew 5% over the prior year.

In commenting, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Balmuth said, "Same store sales in June were slightly below our expectations for a 7% to 8% increase, mainly due to lower than plan business during the latter part of the month.

Continued weakness in the Men's area contributed to disappointing Father's Day results, while sales of seasonal products also underperformed. As a result, gross margin is being pressured by higher than expected markdowns.

Looking ahead, we continue to forecast same store sales gains of 5% to 6% in July and now project earnings per share for the 13 weeks ending July 30, 2005 to be in the range of $.28 to $.30, compared to our prior forecast of $.30 to $.32."

Additional recorded information concerning today's press release and the Company's future outlook for the second quarter and fiscal year can be accessed by calling 402-220-5900, PIN #2363, from 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on July 7, 2005 through 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on July 8, 2005. A transcript of these comments also will be made available on the press release page of the Company's website at www.rossstores.com. The Company expects to report July sales on Thursday, August 4, 2005.

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