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Home Performance Down During FY at Family Dollar

MATTHEWS, N.C. - As Family Dollar ramped up consumables in the recent fiscal year, sales in the home department declined 1.4%.
     The focus for the new fiscal year in home and apparel will be on driving profitability through more direct sourcing and improving inventory productivity, president and coo Mike Bloom said during last week's quarterly call with analysts.
     "We've hired some great talent overseas," he added. Family Dollar currently operates buying offices in Hong Kong and Shenzen and will open an additional office in Shanghai this year.
     Chairman and ceo Howard Levine said the company plans to "severely curtail" receipts in some of its discretionary categories. "The focus is not on comps so much but on sell-through and improving margin."
     For the fiscal year ended Aug. 25, net income rose 8.7% to $422.2 million, or $3.61 per share. Sales climbed 9.2% to $9.33 billion, with comps up 4.7%.
     For the fourth quarter, net income inched up 1.4% to $80.9 million, with a negative impact of $7.2 million from a litigation charge. Sales jumped 10.8% to $2.36 billion, with comps up 5.4%.

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