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GNC focuses on expansion following Q4 results

Despite a challenging retail environment, GNC performed well during the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2013, generating what chairman, president and CEO Joe Fortunato described as solid top and bottom line growth.

For the quarter, net income slightly rose to $47.7 million from $47.4 million in the same period the prior year.

In addition, the company reported consolidated revenue of $613.7 million for the quarter, an increase of 8.6% from $565 million from the year-ago period. Same-store sales increased 5% in domestic corporate stores and 3.3% in domestic franchise stores.

During the fiscal year, net income grew 8% to $260 million from $240.2 million the previous year. Consolidated revenue totaled $2.63 billion, up 8.2% from last year.

GNC has also reached a master franchise agreement with Rusvit for its market entry into Russia. Rusvit, headquartered in Moscow, is led by founder and chairman Alex Kovaler, who has helped build other consumer businesses in Russia, including Wendy's, Nathan's and RC Cola. Beginning in 2014, a GNC presence will be established initially in Moscow with stores, kiosks and store-within-a-store locations with premier retailers.

For the full year 2013, the company opened 149 net new domestic company-owned stores, 192 net new international franchise locations, 63 net new domestic franchise locations, 34 net new Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations, five net new company-owned stores in Canada, and two new company-owned stores in China. GNC now operates 8,593 stores worldwide.