MOORESVILLE, N.C.–Stringent expense controls fueled a 39 percent gain in net income for Lowe’s in its fourth quarter, to $285 million.
Selling, general and administrative expenses for the quarter, which ended on Jan. 28, were virtually flat on a dollar basis and dropped 65 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 26.6 percent. Also, gross margin rose 60 basis points to 35.6 percent as the home-improvement retailer was able to keep a lid on cost of sales. Net sales were $10.5 billion, up 3.1 percent from last year’s fourth quarter and including a 1.1 percent rise in same-store sales.
The fourth-quarter jump in profit pushed Lowe’s net income for the whole fiscal year up 13 percent to $2 billion. Net sales increased 3.4 percent to $48.8 billion.
Speaking about Lowe’s “solid results” for the quarter, Robert Niblock, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “While uncertainty in the market remains, the economic recovery is continuing.”