COLUMBUS, Ohio–A decrease in gross margin, along with increases in depreciation and interest expenses, offset a modest sales gain to slim down the bottom line for Big Lots in its fiscal second quarter, ending on July 30.
Net income totaled $35.7 million, down 8.2 percent from the second quarter of last year, on an increase in net sales of 2.2 percent, to $1.2 billion. Same-store sales decreased 1.5 percent in the quarter. Gross margin fell 100 basis points to 39.5 percent. Interest expense was 165 percent, while depreciation expense rose 14 percent.
Selling, general and administrative expenses were cut down by 0.3 percent in dollar terms and by 80 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 32.5 percent. The second quarter brought the completion of Big Lots’ acquisition of Canadian retailer Liquidation World. That chain, now called Big Lots Canada, marked the company’s first expansion outside of the United States.