MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis.–Kohl’s registered net income of $194 million for the third quarter ending Oct. 30, one-half of 1 percent above the retailer’s net for last year’s third quarter.
The company’s flat bottom-line performance occurred largely because of an 8.4 percent bump up in selling, general and administrative expenses—which also finished the quarter at 26.4 percent of net sales, 100 basis points ahead of last year. Net sales rose 4.1 percent in the quarter to $4.2 billion, including a same-store sales increase of 1.8 percent. Gross margin gained 50 basis points to 38.5 percent.
Kevin Mansell, Kohl’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the pickups in total sales and same-store sales led to further market-share gains for the retailer in the quarter. Mansell said the increase in expenses was actually less than the company originally planned, reflecting the company’s discipline in managing expenses.
Kohl’s said fourth-quarter sales will likely rise by from 4.5 to 6.5 percent, with same-store sales edging up 2 to 4 percent. The last quarter’s gross margin is expected to increase by 20 to 40 basis points, and SG&A should rise by 3 to 4 percent.