Kohl's on fast track with 31% income gain

Don Hogsett, November 19, 2001

MENOMONEE FALLS, WI — With other retailers suffering financial woes in the soft economy, Kohl's Corp. has proven to be consistently strong. The Midwestern retailer's net income rocketed up by nearly 31 percent, reaching $100.3 million, in the third quarter.

Also, Kohl's operating income rose by nearly 27 percent, to $227.3 million. The retailer's net sales grew by nearly 22 percent in the third quarter, to nearly $1.8 billion. Same-store sales in the quarter rose 5.9 percent.

The key ingredients to Kohl's continuing success, according to ceo Larry Montgomery, are "strength across all regions and merchandise categories, improved gross margin from a year ago and effective expense management."

Looking at expenses, Kohl's reduced its ratio of selling, general and administrative expenses to sales by 30 basis points in the third quarter, to 21.6 percent — even though SG&A dollars rose by 20.6 percent in the quarter, to $381 million. The company increased its average gross margin by 30 basis points as well, to 34.6 percent, and boosted its gross-margin dollar figure by nearly 23 percent, reaching $608.3 million.

In praising Kohl's employees for contributing to this latest in a long series of exceptional fiscal quarters, Montgomery also noted that the company's year-to-date net income jumped by more than 35 percent, reaching nearly $261.9 million. This increase "follows four consecutive years of more than 30 percent earnings growth," he said.

Kohl's opened 28 new stores throughout the country in the third quarter. The company said it has slated 70 new stores for fiscal 2002 — including 37 store openings in the first quarter alone.

Kohl's Corp.

QTR 11/3 (x000) 2001 2000 % CHG
Net sales $1,760,346 $1,444,929 21.8
Oper. income (EBIT) 227,306 179,361 26.7
Net income 100,320 76,746 30.7
Per share (diluted) 0.29 0.23 26.1
Average gross margin 34.6% 34.3%
SG&A expenses 21.6% 21.9%
Nine months
Net sales 4,767,429 3,928,955 21.3
Oper. income (EBIT) 602,798 473,745 27.2
Net income 261,854 193,654 35.2
Per share (diluted) 0.78 0.59 32.2
Average gross margin 35.0% 34.6%
SG&A expenses 22.3% 22.5%

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