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Dillard's logs strong Q1 profit

Little Rock, Ark. - Dillard's department stores produced record first quarter earnings thanks to better margins and cost controls. The home and furniture categories were the weakest performers during the quarter, the company reported.
Net income for the 13 weeks ended May 4 rose 23.4% to $117.2 million, or $2.50 per share. Excluding a $4.4 million after-tax credit, net income rose 27% to $112. 8 million, or $2.40 per share. Merchandise gross margin improved by 110 basis points while operating expenses dropped 20 basis points.
Total merchandise sales - excluding the company's CDI Contractors construction business, rose 1% to $1.53 billion, with comps up 1%. Including CDI, total sales were flat at $1.549 billion.
As of May 4, Dillard's operated 283 department stores and 18 clearances centers as well as its ecommerce operation at

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