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Bottom Line Rolls for Big Lots in Q1

Big Lots posted a 13 percent jump in income from continuing operations in its first quarter.
Posted on May 29, 2015 by David Gill

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COLUMBUS, Ohio-Big Lots posted a 13 percent jump in income from continuing operations in its first quarter, which totaled $32.3 million.

Including losses from discontinued operations for both this year and last year, the retailer’s bottom line actually took an 862 percent leap to $32.2 million. The loss from discontinued operations in last year’s first quarter was $25.2 million, compared to just $95,000 this year.

Net sales in the quarter, which ended on May 2, totaled $1.3 billion, down 0.1 percent and including a gain of 1.6 percent in same-store sales for stores open at least 15 months. David Campisi, Big Lots’ president and CEO, said, “After a difficult start to the quarter and harsh weather conditions in February, sales trends improved in March and April. Our comps for (the quarter) were solidly in line with our guidance, and increased for a fifth consecutive quarter.”

Gross margin made a 90-basis-point gain to 39.4 percent. Selling, general and administrative expenses inched up 0.6 percent in dollars and 20 basis points as a percentage of sales, to 32.8 percent.

Looking ahead, Big Lots said its is projecting a same-store sales pickup of 2-3 percent for the second quarter. For the fiscal year as a whole, the company is expecting a same-store sales increase in the low single digits.