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Growth is the focus at Ross Stores

PLEASANTON , Calif. — Ross Stores, Inc. will open 85 to 90 new locations this year, with another 10 dd’s Discounts stores in the second half, the company stated during its fourth-quarter conference call earlier today.

The best departments for the company were shoes and juniors; home furnishings sales have been weak.

The company reported net earnings for the 13 weeks ended Jan. 29 of $49.4 million. The results include a non-cash lease accounting charge of $2.3 million to net earnings. For the comparable period last year, Ross generated $71.3 million in net earnings. That number reflects a reduction in net earnings of $2.4 million due to changes in lease accounting.

For the fiscal year, net earnings totaled $168.5 million which also includes the corrective lease accounting adjustment. For the prior fiscal year, net earnings totaled $225.7 million, again reflecting a reduction due to changes in lease accounting.

Sales for the quarter increased 10 percent to $1.212 billion, with comparable-store sales flat to the prior year. For the fiscal year, sales increased 8 percent to $4.240 billion with comparable-store sales down 1 percent from the prior year.

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