LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-Dillard’s reported third-quarter net income of $50.9 million, up 4.9 percent over the third quarter of last year, as the company set a record for earnings per share of $1.13 in the quarter.
Net sales in the quarter, which ended on Nov. 2, edged up 1.3 percent to $1.5 billion, and included a gain in same-store sales of 1 percent. Weakness in sales in both the home and furniture categories was offset by a “notably strong” performance in ladies accessories, lingerie, shoes and ladies’ apparel, according to a Dillard’s statement.
Gross margin fell 40 basis points to 36.2 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses were essentially flat in dollars but down 40 basis points as a percentage of sales to 27.5 percent.
William Dillard II, Dillard’s CEO, said the same-store sales increase and control of expenses were highlights for the department-store retailer in the quarter. The company was able to boost net income in spite of the drop in merchandise gross margin as well, Dillard said.
The company also said it is marking its 75th year of holiday sales with an adaptation of its “Dillard’s. The Style of Your Life” campaign. It will feature the tagline “Dillard’s Making Christmas Merry for 75 Years,” which will be spotlighted in all of Dillard’s holiday advertising efforts throughout the season, including prominent placement in stores.