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Lowe's fortifies expansion strategy

Wilkesboro, NC — Lowe's Companies Inc. continues to plot an aggressive growth strategy as the company has announced plans to grow its store base by 130 units in 2003 and up to 140 units in 2004.

In anticipation of today's annual conference for analysts and investors, the retailer also said that it expects to increase revenue by 18 percent to 19 percent annually and grow earnings per share by 19 percent to 20 percent annually over the next two years.

"While we continue to see mixed economic signals, based on broad-based strength in home improvement spending, we believe Americans will remain willing to invest in their homes to derive both current enjoyment and the potential for longer-term appreciation," said Robert Tillman, chairman and ceo.

Stores in Northeastern metro markets — including Boston and the greater New York area — now lead the company in average ticket, volume per store and customer count.

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