Food Sales Boost Dollar Tree Q3

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Dollar Tree here on Thursday said net earnings improved by 6.5% on a 4.8% increase in comparable-store sales during the third quarter, which ended Oct. 29.

The comparable sales boost — on top of an 8.7% gain in the same period a year ago —was driven by increases in both traffic (3.4%) and average ticket (1.4%). Total sales increased 11.9% to $1.6 billion, while earnings totaled $104.5 million. Operating margin increased 40 basis points for the quarter to 10.3%.

During the third quarter, Dollar Tree opened 98 stores, expanded or relocated 24 stores, and closed five stores. Retail selling square footage increased 8.7% compared to a year ago, to 37.4 million square feet. For the fiscal year to date, sales increased 12.7% to $4.7 billion. Comparable store sales increased 5.5%, and earnings improved 6.4% to $300.4 million.

Company officials in a conference call cited food, beverages and snacks among the leading categories during the quarter.