Fred's Reports Higher Sales for April
Fred's total sales for the month increased 3% to $152.2 million from $147.6 million in April 2012. Comparable store sales for the month increased 1.2% compared with a decline of 0.3% in the same period last year.
Fred's total sales for the first three months of fiscal 2013 increased slightly to $501.4 million compared with $500.5 million for the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales decreased 1.3% versus a 0.4% decrease for the year-earlier period.
Commenting on the announcement, Bruce A. Efird, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased that April sales came in at the high end of our expectations. A solid comparable store sales performance in our general merchandise departments, despite the poor weather conditions, more than offset the ongoing negative impact of the shift from branded to generic drugs. During the month, we also experienced an increase in customer traffic and made good progress with our plan to improve our sales mix, with a greater proportion coming from higher margin product departments. These accomplishments keep us on track to achieve our earnings projections for the first quarter.
"As we ended the first quarter of 2013, all of the previously announced elements of our reconfiguration program are proceeding on plan," Efird continued. "Looking forward, we remain confident in this program as the key driver for regaining our earnings momentum in 2013."
During the first quarter, Fred’s opened one new store and three pharmacy locations and closed one store.
Fred's, Inc. operates 715 discount general merchandise stores, including 21 franchised Fred's stores, in the southeastern United States. For more information about the Company, visit Fred's website at www.fredsinc.com.
Comments in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic trends, changes in consumer demand or purchase patterns, delays or interruptions in the flow of merchandise between the Company's distribution centers and its stores or between the Company's suppliers and same, a disruption in the Company's data processing services, costs and delays in acquiring or developing new store sites, and other contingencies discussed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Fred's undertakes no obligation to release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Jerry A. Shore, 901-362-3733, Ext. 2217
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
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