Little Rock, AR–Dillard’s said today it was disappointed with its bottom line performance as the department store retailer posted declining profits and weaker margins amid increased discounting.
In the 13 weeks to August 2, net income was down about 5% to $34.5 million. This compared to earnings of $36.5 million a year earlier. On a per-share basis, earnings rose a penny to 80 cents as the year-earlier period had more shares outstanding.
Net revenue slipped less than 1% to $1.51 billion, while net sales declined slightly to $1.47 billion. Net sales included the operations of the company’s construction business, CDI Contractors, LLC or CDI.
Analysts expected per-share profit of 86 cents and revenue of $1.53 billion.
Total merchandise sales, which excluded CDI were $1.461 billion, compared to $1.459 billion for the 13-week period ended August 3, 2013. Total merchandise sales remained unchanged on a percentage basis for the recent quarter.
Gross margin declined 20 basis points on the prior year second quarter, primarily as a result of increased markdowns.
Sales trends were strongest in juniors’ and children’s apparel followed by men’s apparel and accessories. Geographically, trends were strongest in the Central region, followed by the Eastern and Western regions, respectively.
“Although our 1% comparable store sales increase led to a profitable quarter, we are somewhat disappointed in the bottom line performance,” said CEO William Dillard. “We are pleased with our inventory management during the quarter and with our ending inventory position.”
For fiscal 2014, Dillard’s expects capital expenditures to be $150 million, compared to $95 million in 2013.