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From Home Furnishing Business

Big Lots Registers Big Profit Increase in Q2

Discount retailer Big Lots (NYSE: BIG) said sales edged up 1.5% in the quarter ended July 29, but profits jumped more than 28% to $29.1 million or 67 cents per share.

The company said improved expense and inventory controls contributed to the spike in net income.

In the same quarter a year ago, net income was $22.7 million or 50 cents per share.

Sales in the most recent quarter totaled $1.221 billion, up from $1.203 billion in the comparable quarter. Comparable-store sales were up 1.8%.

"I'm very pleased with our second quarter results,” said David Campisi, president and CEO. “In a challenging retail environment with the pressures of online competitors and changing consumer shopping behaviors, our ownable and winnable merchandise categories are resonating with Jennifer and continue to demonstrate resiliency with solid sales growth in Q2. Our strategy is working as evidenced by our comps in ownable categories and our consistency of delivering growth in operating profit dollars and EPS.”

Because of the second quarter performance, Campisi said the company is boosting its earnings projection for the fiscal year to $4.15 to $4.25 per share. That’s up from a May projection of $4.05 to $4.20 per share.

The projection is based on a comparable-store sales increase of 1% to 1.5%, and a net sales increase of 2% to 2.5%, he explained.

“We are controlling what we can control and our teams are energized and excited as our new Fall merchandise has begun to arrive in stores,” said Campisi.

For the six months ended July 29, sales totaled $2.518 billion, an increase of less than 1% from $2.515 billion in the first half of the previous fiscal year.

Six-month net income totaled $80.6 million or $1.83 per share. That’s an increase of more than 34% from $61.4 million or $1.31 per share in the comparable period.

Big Lots operates 1,428 stores in 47 states. The retailer’s principal product categories are furniture, seasonal, soft home, food, consumables, hard home, electronics, toys and accessories.

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