LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-Checks on expenses offset a laggard sales performance to deliver a 17.7 percent gain in net income for Dillard’s in its fiscal second quarter, to $36.5 million.
Selling, general and administrative expenses declined 0.2 percent in dollars, although they rose 10 basis points as a percentage of sales to 26.9 percent. Gross margin increased 37 basis points to finish the quarter, which ended on Aug. 3, at 35.6 percent.
Net sales slipped 0.5 percent to $1.5 billion, although same-store sales increased 1 percent in the quarter. The weakest categories in the quarter, according to a Dillard’s statement, were home and furniture, followed by ladies’ apparel.
William T. Dillard II, Dillard’s CEO, said the second quarter marked “further progress” for the retailer. “Positive comparable-store sales and gross margin expansion combined with continued expense control enabled us to report another quarter of year-over-year improvement at Dillard’s,” Dillard said.