Dollar General Sets Records in Profit, Sales in Fourth Quarter

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn.-Closing what Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO, called "a great year," Dollar General posted new records in net income and sales in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended on Jan. 29.

Net income jumped 155 percent to $222.5 million, thanks in part to a net sales gain of 9.4 percent to $3.5 billion, which included same-store sales growth of 3.8 percent. The bottom line was also aided by a 3.3 percent drop in selling, general and administrative expenses--which also fell 272 basis points as a percentage of sales to 20.7 percent. Gross margin picked up 23 basis points to 32.4 percent.

Dreiling noted that Dollar General achieved its strong fourth quarter in spite of severe winter weather in many of its market areas in the second half of the quarter. "We effectively balanced our sales, delivering gross margin expansion, expense leverage and excellent financial results," he said.

For the fiscal year, Dollar General's net income rose 85 percent to $627.9 million, on an increase in net sales of 10.5 percent to $13 billion. Dreiling said the retailer's current fiscal year is off to a good start. "Even in a challenging macroeconomic environment, we expect to deliver strong financial performance in 2011, including top-line growth of 11 to 13 percent and same-store sales growth of 3 to 5 percent."

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