Ross Stores CEO pleased with healthy sales gains in July & Q2

August 17, 2009 - United States Of America

Ross Stores, Inc. reported that sales for the four weeks ended August 1, 2009 increased 8% to $538 million from $499 million for the four weeks ended August 2, 2008. Same store sales for the month rose 4% on top of a 4% gain in the prior year.

For the 13 weeks ended August 1, 2009, sales were $1.769 billion, an 8% increase over the $1.640 billion in sales reported for the 13 weeks ended August 2, 2008. Comparable store sales for the 13 weeks ended August 1, 2009 grew 3% on top of a strong 6% increase last year.

For the six months ended August 1, 2009, sales totaled $3.460 billion, up 8% over the $3.197 billion in sales for the six months ended August 2, 2008. Comparable store sales for the six months ended August 1, 2009 increased 3% on top of a 5% gain in the prior year period.

Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are extremely pleased with our healthy sales gains in July and the second quarter. Our ability to deliver compelling bargains while operating our business on much lower inventories is driving both above-plan sales growth and significant improvement in merchandise gross margin. In addition, the quarter is benefiting from much lower freight costs as a percent of sales compared to the prior year. As a result, we now estimate that earnings per share for the three months ended August 1, 2009 will increase a robust 50% to 52% to $.81 to $.82, up from $.54 last year."