Big Lots Q4, FY Net Falls; CFO Johnson Upped to EVP

Big LotsCOLUMBUS, Ohio-Big Lots reported steep declines in net income for its fourth quarter and fiscal year, which ended on Feb. 1.

Along with releasing its financial results, the retailer said Timothy Johnson, its senior vice president and chief financial officer has been promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Net income for the quarter dropped 30 percent to $84.4 million, bringing its bottom-line total for the year to $125.3 million, down 29.3 percent from the prior year. Net sales in the quarter declined by 6.2 percent to $1.6 billion, including a same-store sales decrease of 3 percent. For the fiscal year, net sales were down 1.2 percent to $5.3 billion.

A drop in gross margin and a heavier expense load combined to hurt Big Lots’ bottom line in the quarter. Gross margin fell 150 basis points to 38.2 percent. Selling, general and administrative  expenses rose 3.8 percent in dollars and 290 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 29.8 percent.

Johnson, who joined Big Lots in 2000, was named chief financial officer in 2012. In announcing his new role, the company said his responsibilities have expanded in recent months to include real-estate strategy and administration, along with the asset protection of its stores, distribution  centers and offices.

Johnson will continue his oversight of these areas and over the retailer’s financial reporting and controls, treasury, risk management, tax, internal audit, financial planning and analysis, and investor relations. He will continue to report to CEO David Campisi.

For the new fiscal year, Big Lots  said it expects same-store sales to range from flat to 2 percent above same-store sales for the fiscal year just ended.