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THE CATO CORPORATION REPORTS SALES INCREASES OF 17 PERCENT FOR JULY AND 25 PERCENT FOR SECOND QUARTER

 /REPEATING FOR POINTS NEEDED/
 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Cato Corporation


(NASDAQ-NMS: CACOA) reported that its July sales for the four weeks ended July 31 were $28.2 million, an increase of 17 percent over sales of $24.1 million for the comparable period ended Aug. 1, 1992. Same-store sales for July 1993 increased 2 percent following a 14 percent same-store sales increase for July 1992.
 Wayland H. Cato, Jr., chairman and CEO, stated that "We missed summer business on `wear now' product in July as a result of planning our ownership too conservatively. In spite of these soft July sales results, we achieved a respectable 9 percent same-store sales for the quarter. We remain confident we will meet the analysts' projected second quarter earnings of $0.19 per fully diluted share. Net income for the quarter will show a 60 percent increase over the prior year. Store development activities and inventory levels continue to be on plan."
 For the second quarter ended July 31, 1993, sales were $95.5 million compared with $76.6 million in second quarter, 1992, an increase of 25 percent. Same-store sales increased 9 percent for second quarter, 1993, following a 13 percent same-store sales increase for second quarter, 1992. The company's first half sales were $189.4 million, a 25 percent increase over last year's $152.8 million. Same-store sales for the half increased 10 percent.
 The Cato Corporation is a women's apparel specialty retailer operating under the names "Cato Fashion/Cato Plus" and "It's Fashion!" in 22 states. As of July 31, 1993, The Cato Corporation operated 550 stores compared to 502 stores at Aug. 1, 1992.
 -0- 8/5/93 R
 /CONTACT: V. Hollis Scott, Senior Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary, The Cato Corporation, 704-551-7266/
 (CACOA)


CO: The Cato Corporation ST: North Carolina IN: REA SU:

CM -- CH002 -- 9712 08/05/93 08:57 EDT
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Date:Aug 5, 1993
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