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Fred's hits new mark in 3Q sales, earnings

Memphis, TN — Discount general merchandiser Fred's increased net income over 40 percent and saw double-digit same-store sales growth for the third quarter ended Nov. 2.

Net income for the third quarter rose 44.0 percent to $7.4 million from $5.1 million in the year-earlier period. The retailer's comp-store customer traffic increased 5.3 percent for the quarter, and the average transaction grew 5 percent to $16.76. Turns also improved 5.0 percent over last year, to $4.25, according to the company.

Total sales for the company rose 20.0 percent to $263.0 million against $219.0 million in the same period last year. Comp-store sales increased 10.3 percent for the quarter.

During the company's third quarter conference call yesterday, executives also discussed a major shift in the company's holiday marketing plan, as it moved its television ad schedule closer to Christmas. Most ads would run over a condensed seven- to eight-day period, instead of the previous 15-day period, executives said.

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