MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis.–Improved merchandise margins and a watchful eye on expenses fueled Kohl’s to a fourth-quarter gain of 14 percent in net income, which totaled $493 million.
The department-store retailer also posted a 6.3 percent increase in net sales to $6 billion. Thanks to its ability to manage inventories, Kohl’s gross margin rose 40 basis points to 36.8 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses were up 4.1 percent in dollars but declined by 50 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 20.5 percent.
For the fiscal year, Kohl’s topped the $1 billion mark with $1.1 billion in net income, up 12 percent over the prior fiscal year. Net sales finished at $18.4 billion, an increase of 7.1 percent.
Noting that Kohl’s “clearly outperformed our direct competition for the year,” Kevin Mansell, chairman, president and chief executive officer, added that the company will focus on further increasing its market share in the new fiscal year. “We are investing prudently for the long term in our stores, both new and remodeled, and our high-growth e-commerce business to ensure our profitable growth,” Mansell said.