Dollar General Posts Sales, Profit Gains

Consumers focused on value continued to drive increases in sales and profits for Dollar General, the retailer said Tuesday.

GOODLETTESVILLE, Tenn. — Consumers focused on value continued to drive increases in sales and profits for Dollar General here, the retailer said Tuesday.

Net income increased by 47.8% to $81.9 million on sales gains of 11.2% to $2.85 billion for the fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 30. Gross profit as a percent of sales climbed by 51 basis points to 29.4%. Sales have continued to climb during the first weeks of the new fiscal year, with same-store sales up by 15.1% during February, officials added.

Quarterly sales of highly consumable items, including food, pet food and paper products, increased by 18.1% during the quarter, more than offsetting slight declines in discretionary categories.

Richard Dreiling, chairman and chief executive officer, said work to improve store conditions and merchandising are paying off as consumers discover the stores while seeking values in a tough economy.

“I think what is happening with our economy is giving us a lot of trials with a lot of people who haven’t experienced Dollar General in a year or two, or might not have ever,” Dreiling said. “And they’re coming in and seeing the improvements and they are appreciative, and responding to them.”

For the fiscal year, Dollar General posted sales of $10.5 billion, up 10.1% from 2007, and net income of $108.2 million, compared with $12.8 million loss a year ago.

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