LITTLE ROCK, Ark.–Thanks to strong controls over expenses and inventory, Dillard’s finished its fiscal year with a 38 percent gain in net income in its fourth quarter, to $109.6 million.
The department-store retailer kept selling, general and administrative expenses under wraps. In dollars, SG&A increased by just 2.4 percent, and as a percentage of sales, they dropped 70 basis points to 22.8 percent. Fourth-quarter gross margin rose 110 basis points to 34.1 percent, due in part to a two percent decline in same-store inventory. Net sales were up 5.5 percent to $1.9 billion, including a seven percent increase in same-store sales.
The expense controls firmed Dillard’s bottom line for the fiscal year as a whole by 162 percent, to $179.6 million. Net sales totaled $6.1 billion, a slight 0.4 percent ahead of last year.
William Dillard II, chief executive officer, described the fiscal year as “a year of progress” for Dillard’s. “We executed disciplined inventory management and controlled our expenses while seeking clear distinction in the mind of the fashion consumer,” Dillard said.