Dillard’s posted its 10th consecutive quarter of same store sales growth with a 3% gain in the fourth quarter.
The operator of 284 department stores said merchandise sales for the 14 week fourth quarter ended February 2 increased 7% to $2.087 billion compared to $1.947 billion during the 13 week period ended January 28, 2012. Based on comparable weeks, merchandise sales increased 2%. Profits for the 14 week period increased to $161.4 million, or $3.36 a share, compared to $141.5 million or $2.77 during the 13 week period the prior year.
The company said sales trends were strongest in ladies accessories and lingerie and men’s apparel and accessories. Sales were weakest in the home and furniture category. Geographically, the company said sales were strongest in the central region, followed by the eastern and western regions, respectively.
"We are pleased to report a strong finish to a very successful year at Dillard’s," said Dillard’s CEO William T. Dillard II. "Our positive sales performance and gross margin expansion combined with expense control drove strong cash flow throughout the year. As a result, we were pleased to return cash to shareholders in the form of a $5 special dividend during the fourth quarter. Additionally, we purchased $185.5 million of Class A common stock during the year. As we mark our 75th year at Dillard’s this month, we are proud of our progress and excited about the future."