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 MATTHEWS, N.C., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO), a discount store chain operating 2,055 stores in a 33-state area ranging as far northwest as Minnesota, northeast to New Hampshire, southeast to Florida and southwest to Texas, reported that sales and earnings for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 1993, and for the fourth quarter of fiscal 1993, were the highest in the Company's history.
 Sales for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 1993, were $1,297,430,787, or 12 percent above sales of $1,158,703,861 for fiscal 1992. Net income for fiscal 1993 was $64,428,683, or 15.7 percent above net income of $55,671,936 a year ago, and earnings per share increased to $1.15 from $1.00. For the fourth quarter ended Aug. 31, 1993, sales were $326,281,150, or 9.8 percent above sales of $297,190,492 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 1992. Net income was $12,398,467, or 13.4 percent above net income of $10,936,584 for the comparable quarter of the prior year, and earnings per share increased to $.22 from $.20.
 In commenting on the record operating results, Leon Levine, Chairman of the Company, stated that: "Fiscal 1993 was marked by the opening of our 2,000th store as Family Dollar continued to build upon its record as one of the country's fastest growing and most profitable discount retailers. The highest sales and earnings in the Company's history were achieved in a difficult retail environment. After a strong sales performance in the first four months of fiscal 1993, the growth in sales moderated. Sales in existing stores increased 3.9 percent for the year, including a 1.3 percent gain in the fourth quarter. In the weak economy with low inflation, increased emphasis was given to tightly controlling expenses. The effectiveness of the expense controls permitted us to slightly reduce expenses as a percentage of sales."
 The Company also recorded some improvement in the gross profit margin. Continued emphasis on increasing sales in higher margin departments and reducing sales in lower margin departments, opportunistic purchasing at favorable prices of closeout merchandise and manufacturers' overruns, and strong consumer acceptance of the Family Dollar brand label merchandise program positively impacted the gross profit margin. The completion in October 1992 of installation in all stores of the point-of-sale register information system with scanners was another important element of our gross profit margin strategy. The system provides timely and accurate information of item sales movement to assist us in more effectively managing inventories and merchandising stores to meet the needs of each store's customer base. This technology also facilitates multi-zone pricing in which different prices are used in selected stores based on competition and other market factors. The gross profit margin improvement, coupled with effective expense controls, produced the 15.7 percent increase in net income on the 12 percent sales gain."
 Mr. Levine also noted that: "Family Dollar continues to strengthen its financial condition. In a year of aggressive store expansion, including the opening of 174 stores and closing of 24 stores, and other investments in technology and new and remodeled facilities, the Company's balance sheet remained free of any long-term indebtedness. The cash dividends declared per share of Common Stock increased 16 percent, as fiscal 1993 was the seventeenth consecutive year of dividend increases."
 Mr. Levine concluded that: "Fiscal 1994 begins in an increasingly competitive retail sales environment as reflected in our September sales which, as reported last week, increased 9.1 percent in total and were at the same level in existing stores as last September. In this environment, we are aggressively pursuing both sales and acceptable gross profit margins while budgeting expenses conservatively. With Family Dollar's unique niche in the marketplace and proven merchandising concept, fiscal 1994 presents continuing opportunities for profitable growth."
 Mr. Peter J. Hayes, President of the Company, announced that Family Dollar currently plans to open approximately 190 stores and close approximately 25 stores during fiscal 1994, for a net addition of 165 stores. Since the beginning of the fiscal year on Sept. 1, 1993, 24 new stores have opened and 4 stores have closed, to bring the number of stores in operation to 2,055. The Company expects to have approximately 2,200 stores operating by the end of the fiscal year on Aug. 31, 1994. The Company also expects to have in operation by the spring of 1994 a 550,000 square foot fully automated distribution center currently under construction in West Memphis, Ark., at an estimated cost of $25 million.
 The figures are as follows:
 Three Months Ended
 Aug. 31, 1993 Aug. 31, 1992
 Net Sales $ 326,281,150 $297,190,492
 Income Before Income Taxes 20,037,855 17,689,054
 Income Taxes 7,639,388 6,752,470
 Net Income 12,398,467 10,936,584
 Net Income Per
 Common Share $.22 $.20
 Dividends Declared
 Per Common Share $.075 $.065
 Weighted Average
 Number of Shares 56,347,220 56,028,207
 Fiscal Years Ended
 Aug. 31, 1993 Aug. 31, 1992
 Net Sales $1,297,430,787 $1,158,703,861
 Income Before Income Taxes 102,919,971 88,939,306
 Income Taxes 38,491,288 33,267,370
 Net Income 64,428,683 55,671,936
 Net Income Per
 Common Share $1.15 $1.00
 Dividends Declared
 Per Common Share $.29 $.25
 Weighted Average
 Number of Shares 56,249,774 55,910,901
 -0- 10/14/93
 /CONTACT: George R. Mahoney, Jr., executive vice president, of Family Dollar Stores, 704-847-6961/

CO: Family Dollar Stores, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: REA SU: ERN

MM -- CH004 -- 2058 10/14/93 09:20 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 14, 1993

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