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Pier 1 comps, sales stay on positive track

Fort Worth, Texas - Pier 1 scored double-digit comp gains during the second quarter.

Alex Smith, president and ceo, said the home furnishings chain's growth plan is "firmly on track, and we have returned value to our shareholders through the completion of our $100 million share repurchase program. Sales growth and merchandise margins remain strong, and we continue to demonstrate the strength and sustainability of our business."

In the second quarter, ended August 27, net income rose 15.3% to $16.6 million, or 14 cents per share.

Sales grew 9.6% to $339.6 million. Driven by increases in store traffic and average ticket, comparable store sales jumped 10.8%.

Smith noted during Pier 1's earnings call today that all business segments were up for the period.

The third quarter has "started well" and customers' responses to the fall, harvest and Halloween assortment has been "very favorable," Smith added. Noting that "we are very good at Christmas," Smith said Pier 1 is looking ahead to the fall and holiday selling seasons with confidently.

"I can hardly wait," he continued. "It is hard to predict how the economy will fare over the next several months, but we fully expect our business to be successful through the fall and holiday selling season."

Year-to-date, net income rose 38.9% to $30.7 million, or 26 cents per share. Sales for the first six months increased 9.4% to $674.2 million, and comps were up 10.5%.


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