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Ross reports higher sales and profits

Newark, CA — Lifted entirely by rapid expansion, sales and profits both climbed higher at Ross Stores Inc., with earnings advancing by 3.4 percent, to $49.3 million from $47.7 million.

Sales moved up by 7.3 percent, to $879.3 million from $819.6 million last year.

But the gain came from the chain's continued rapid rollout of new units, and same-store sales actually fell by three percent.

Still opening doors at a fast pace, the off-price retailer expanded its store base by almost 13 percent over the past 12 months, to 530 stores from 470.

In a lift to the bottom line, Ross, the nation's 25th largest retailer of home fashions with $153 million in 2002 sales of home textiles, earned $70,000 in interest income, after paying $224,000 in interest expense the prior year.

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