UNION, N.J.–A healthy sales gain and a watchful eye on expenses powered Bed Bath & Beyond to a 21 percent gain in third-quarter net income, to $228.5 million.
Net sales rose 6.8 percent to $2.3 billion in the quarter, which ended on Nov. 26, including a pickup of 4.1 percent in same-store sales. In a conference call yesterday to financial analysts, Bed Bath & Beyond CEO Steve Temares said increases in the number of transactions and average transaction amount helped boost both total sales and comparable-store sales.
Selling, general and administrative expenses were kept under wraps, increasing by just 1.7 percent in dollars and declining 129 basis points as a percentage of sales to 25.7 percent. Temares said lower payroll, occupancy and advertising expenses as a percentage of net sales helped in this regard. Gross margin, meanwhile, was relatively the same as in last year’s third quarter, at 40.9 percent.
During the conference call, Eugene Castagna, chief financial officer, principal accounting offer and treasurer, said Bed Bath is anticipating a net sales increase of 4 to 6 percent for the fourth quarter, and of 7 to 8 percent for the full fiscal year. Same-store sales should finish at 2 to 4 percent up for the fourth quarter and about 5 percent higher for the fiscal year.
Temares added that the relocation of Bed Bath’s offices in Farmingdale and Garden City, N.Y., to its corporate headquarters here should be substantially completed in the second half of fiscal 2012.