Belk Hits Black in Fiscal 2010

       

       

CHARLOTTE, N.C.-Reversing a net loss of $213 million from the prior year, Belk reported net income of $67.1 million for its 2010 fiscal year, which ended Jan. 30.

Last year’s loss was the result of a non-cash charge for goodwill impairment of $326.6 million. But Belk’s bottom line also received assists from company initiatives that improved merchandise margins and reduced expenses, according to a statement from the department-store retailer. Belk’s gross margin for the year rose 150 basis points to 32.1 percent, and the company sliced 6.5 percent off its selling, general and administrative expenses.

Belk’s net sales for fiscal 2010 fell 4.4 percent to $3.3 billion, which included a decline in same-store sales of 4.6 percent. Tim Belk, the retailer’s chairman and chief executive officer, said sales gained some momentum in the third and fourth quarters, after a weak start to the fiscal year. Belk also said the company generated “significant cash flow” in the fiscal year, which “positions us to make strategic investments for long-term growth and success.”