MOORESVILLE, N.C.–First-quarter net income for Lowe’s fell 5.7 percent to $461 million, as the home-improvement retailer struggled through a decline in sales and a bump-up in expenses.
Net sales decreased 1.6 percent to $12.2 billion in the quarter, which ended on April 29, and which included a 3.3 percent fall in same-store sales. Selling, general and administrative expenses increased 0.8 percent in dollars and 62 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 25.6 percent, and interest expense increased 7.3 percent. Lowe’s was able to improve its gross margin by 26 basis points to 35.4 percent, thanks to a 2 percent drop in cost of sales.
Robert Niblock, Lowe’s chairman and CEO, said the retailer “faced ongoing economic pressures, unfavorable weather conditions and tough comparisons to last year’s government-stimulus programs. We are building momentum in 2011 behind our transformation from a home-improvement retailer to a home-improvement company.”