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99 Cents Only Eyes 10% Growth

COMMERCE, Calif. 99 Cents Only Stores here said last week it expects to accelerate new-store expansion going forward to approximately 10% a year.

Rick Anicetti, who was named interim chief executive officer of the company in late January, said his appointment was part of the company’s efforts to continue to grow the store base, “and I’m excited to help bring the company to the next level.”

The company opened 12 stores through the first three quarters of the current fiscal year, with six more due in the fourth quarter.  However, Anicetti said it anticipates between 30 and 35 openings, all in existing markets, in the fiscal year that begins March 31.

Anicetti had been a director of the company for eight months prior to his interim appointment. He said the company has hired a search committee to find someone to fill the position on a permanent basis, though he did not indicate a timeframe.

For the third quarter, which ended Dec. 29, adjusted EBITDA rose 6.5% to $51 million, while sales increased 8.8% to $439.5 million and same-store sales were up 4.3%. For the year to date, adjusted EBITDA jumped 5.8% to $122 million, while sales rose 8.7% to $1.2 billion and same-store sales climbed 4.3%.

Anicetti said comp sales were driven by several food categories, including delicatessen, beverage, frozen foods, fresh produce and grocery, which he noted all carry lower margins than general merchandise.

Read more: 99 Cents Only Adds Food Expertise

He also said 99 Cents Only expects revenue growth to continue through the fourth quarter of the fiscal year as a result of increases in same-store sales and new-store openings.

The company said results for the year-to-date reflect an adjustment to first- and second-quarter financial results to recognize a $16.3 million first-quarter loss from extinguishment of debt related to the re-pricing of its first lien term loan facility — an error the company said had no impact on revenues or adjusted EBITDA.

Frank Schools, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said the capital budget for the current fiscal year is $68.5 million, with $42 million for new and existing stores.


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