Duckwall-Alco Sees Improvements in Operating Results

ABILENE, KAN. - While unseasonably warm temperatures impaired fourth quarter sales, regional general merchandise retailer Duckwall-Alco Stores Inc. reported same-store sales increases for fiscal 2012 over the prior year.
     Richard Wilson, president and ceo, said the company attributed this improvement to the company's "merchandising strategies and enhanced product mix, which is providing Alco customers with better value and a more organized shopping environment."
     Another bright spot of note were net earnings, which also saw an improvement over the prior year thanks to "cost-reduction initiatives," he added.
     Domestics were cited as among the various better-performing categories in the fourth quarter, along with consumables.
     Net earnings for the quarter were essentially flat -- $0.8 million, or $0.22 per diluted share, compared to $0.8 million, or $0.21 per diluted share a year ago.
     Quarterly net sales from continuing operations increased 1.0% to $137.5 million, and same-store sales, excluding fuel center sales, were down 0.6% to $133.4 million.
     Net earnings for fiscal 2012 were $1.7 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $4.6 million, or $1.20 per diluted share, in the prior year.
     Net sales were up 4.4% to $482.8 million, and same-store sales, excluding fuel center sales, for the year increased 3.0% to $467.7 million.
     "We are excited about the many improvements that have taken place throughout the company this year," Wilson said. "We are also encouraged by our sales and net earnings growth over the prior year's results."

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