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  • Larry Thomas

Pier 1 Imports profits jump 26.4% on higher sales

FORT WORTH, Texas — Retailer Pier 1 Imports said profits jumped 26.4% in the fiscal first quarter on a 7.9% increase in sales.

Same-store sales increased 7.2%, bringing the three-year cumulative same-store increase to 31.7%.

"We're pleased with the strong sales and earnings performance we achieved this quarter, as well as the continued expansion of our operating margin," said Alex Smith, president and CEO. "The results demonstrate the effectiveness of our merchandising strategies and in-store execution, as well as strong full-price selling."

Sales for the quarter ended May 26 totaled $361.1 million, up from $334.6 million in last year's fiscal first quarter.

Net income was $17.8 million or 16 cents per share. That's up from $14.1 million or 12 cents per share in the same period last year.

Smith said merchandise margins were 60.2% of sales, up from 59.8% in the same quarter in 2011. Gross margin, meanwhile, increased 1.6 percentage points to 41.6%.

He said the company is especially excited about the upcoming launch of its e-commerce site, which should allow the retailer to capture more market share.

Pier 1 said it is projecting earnings per share of $1.08 to $1.14 for the fiscal year, a slight increase from a February projection of $1.06 to $1.12 per share.

Smith said the current fiscal year has 53 weeks, and the extra week will add 1 to 2 cents per share to earnings.

In the fiscal year ended Feb. 25, Pier 1 had earnings of 94 cents per share, excluding a one-time tax benefit.


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