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BBB posts double-digit profit increase

Union, N.J. - Bed Bath & Beyond's fourth quarter earnings per share jump 30% despite its consumers' shift toward lower-margin merchandise.
Net income for the quarter ended Feb. 26 was $283.45 million, 86% per share. Sales rose 11.6% to $2.5 billion, with comps up 8.5%.
For the fiscal year, net income climbed 31.9% to $791.3 million. Sales rose 11.9% to $8.8 billion, with comps up 7.8%/
During the retailer's quarterly conference call with analysts, executives cited better gross margins - 43% of net sales for the year compared to 42.6% the previous year - mainly due to less couponing and fewer markdowns.
As always, executives kept their color commentary to a minimum. Steve Temares, ceo, noted the environment faces "higher commodity prices, relatively high unemployment, a sluggish housing market and fragile consumer confidence," but said BB&B's strategy remains unchanged.
The company plans to open about 45 stores this year across all of its nameplates - which also include Harmon Face Value, Harmon, Christmas Tree Shops and buybuy Baby. In its earnings release, Bed Bath & Beyond mentioned its two-store joint venture in Mexico, Home & More, but did not specifically address any plans for expansion.
For the current fiscal year, the retail expects comp increases in the range of 2% to 4% for the first quarter and full year, with sales increase in the mid-single-digit range for the first quarter and full year.


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