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Dollar General Q1 Results Buoy Outlook; Home a Highlight

GOODLETTSVILLE, TENN. - Having earned record sales and net income in its first quarter, Dollar General called the period its fifth consecutive quarter of "accelerating improvement."
     "Dollar General is starting off 2012 with strong performance in the first quarter due to excellent same-store sales growth of 6.7%," resulting from increases in both customer traffic and average transaction, noted Rick Dreiling, chairman and ceo in a conference call with analysts last week.
     Net sales increased 13.0% to $3.90 billion compared to $3.45 billion a year ago.
     Net income leapt 36% to $213 million, or 63 cents per share.
     While consumables remained a driver, several discretionary areas had strong results, including seasonal and home.
     Dreiling said the positive momentum in home continues and added: "With what we're seeing in home decor and window treatments, I'm happy with what we're seeing there."
     Buoyed by its first quarter performance, Dollar General raised its full year financial outlook to adjusted EPS of $2.68 to $2.78.
     "Our first quarter was strong, and we are pleased with our May sales performance," Dreiling continued. "I believe we are positioned well to invest in the future of our business as we continue to redefine small-box retailing and reinforce Dollar General's role as America's general store."
     The company continues to expect sales to increase 8% to 9% over the 53-week fiscal year, or 10% to 11% on a comparable 52-week basis. Same-store sales are expected to increase 3% to 5%.

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