Ross Stores, Inc.’s strong Q2 results underscored how well off price is performing compared to traditional department stores. Net earnings grew to $317 million, compared to $282 million in the prior year. Sales rose 8% to $3.432 billion, with comp store sales up 4% (on top of 4% growth last year).
For the first six months of fiscal 2017, earnings per share were up 14% on top of a 9% gain last year. Net earnings were $638 million, up from $573 million in the prior year. Sales rose 7% to $6.738 billion, with comp store sales up 4% (versus a 3% gain in the same period last year).
“We are pleased with the better-than-expected growth we delivered in both sales and earnings in the second quarter, especially given our strong multi-year comparisons and today’s volatile retail climate,” said Barbara Rentler, chief executive officer of Ross Stores. “Operating margin of 14.9% outperformed our projections, mainly due to a combination of higher merchandise margin and leverage on our above-plan sales gains.”
The future looks good for Ross as well. “For the third quarter ending October 28, we are forecasting a same store sales gain of 1% to 2% on top of a robust 7% increase in the prior year.”
Based in Dublin, California, Ross Stores, Inc. operates Ross Dress for Less® with 1,384 locations in 37 states, the District of Columbia and Guam.