MINNEAPOLIS–A combination of rising sales and a “disciplined” approach to expenses helped Target to a whopping 29 percent increase in net income in the first quarter.
The retailer’s bottom line totaled $671 million in the quarter. Net sales increased by 5.5 percent to $15.2 billion, including a 2.8 percent pickup in same-store sales. Gross margin tacked on 50 basis points to finish the quarter at 31.3 percent. While selling, general and administrative expenses rose 4.2 percent, they dropped 30 basis points as a percentage of sales to 20.6 percent. Target also posted a 7.4 percent decrease in net interest expense.
In a company statement, Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the improved economic environment brought Target first-quarter results that were better than expected. The company said the first-quarter numbers benefited from “continued strong productivity improvements in our stores, combined with disciplined expense control throughout the company.”