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Big Lots comparable store sales rise 4.9% in Q1

18
Jun '07
Big Lots Inc reported first quarter fiscal 2007 income from continuing operations of $29.0 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, compared to income from continuing operations of $14.5 million, or $0.13 per diluted share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2006.

Including the impact of discontinued operations, first quarter fiscal 2007 net income totaled $28.8 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, compared to $13.7 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, in the prior year.

As discussed in the Company's Form 10-K filed with the SEC on April 4, 2007, the Company's results from continuing operations do not include the 130 stores closed in January 2006 that are classified as discontinued operations.

Net sales for the first quarter ended May 5, 2007, increased 3.4% to $1,128.4 million, compared to $1,091.6 million for the same period in fiscal 2006. Comparable store sales for stores open at least two years at the beginning of the fiscal year increased 4.9% for the quarter.

Operating profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2007 was $42.5 million, or 3.8% of sales, compared to last year's operating profit of $21.3 million, or 2.0% of sales.

The operating profit dollar improvement to last year was the result of significant expense leverage along with the incremental gross margin dollars driven by the Company's 4.9% comparable store sales increase.

Operating expenses as a percent of sales improved by 240 basis points due to store and distribution center efficiencies, lower insurance-related costs, the leveraging impact of a 4.9% comp, and certain timing differences or non- recurring items recognized during the quarter.


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