NATICK, Mass. — BJ’s Wholesale Club  here on Wednesday said strong fourth-quarter unit sales in perishables helped compensate for deflation in the category as the company posted gains in both net income and sales for the period.
Comparable-store sales of all food items were up about 3.7% in the quarter, which ended Jan. 30, while general merchandise comps were flat. Net income was up 4.6%, to $55.1 million, on a 9.4% revenue gain, to $2.56 billion.
The company said it expects perishables deflation — which held perishable comps to 3% in the quarter — to begin to compare more favorably with year-ago numbers in the second quarter of this year. Perishables comps declined sequentially throughout 2009.
In the fourth quarter, BJ’s reported net income of $132.1 million, a 2.4% decline from year-ago results, while revenues were up 1.6%, to $10.2 billion.
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