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Burlington Coat profit increases 3.3% in 3Q

Don Hogsett -- Home Textiles Today, April 1, 2002

Boosted by stronger sales and wider margins, third-quarter profits at Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse, parent of Luxury Linens, edged up by 3.3 percent, to $37.3 million from $36.1 million last year.

Lifted by new store openings, sales in the holiday period ended March 2 climbed by 7.9 percent, to $779.8 million from $722.7 million last year. But without the help of the extra stores, same-store sales actually slipped by 0.4 percent at the off-price retailer. However, sales of home fashions at the Luxury Linens unit were a standout performer, and the retailer said that same-store sales in its non-outerwear business shot up by 6.1 percent.

Average gross margin widened by 60 basis points, or 0.6 percent, during the all-important Christmas quarter, expanding to 35.4 percent from 34.8 percent a year ago. Getting an extra kick from the stronger sales, gross margin dollars increased by 9.7 percent, to $276.1 million from $251.7 million a year ago.

But offsetting stronger margins were higher costs, which inched up by 40 basis points, to 26.8 percent of sales from 26.4 percent a year ago. Measured in absolute dollars, costs climbed higher by 9.3 percent, to $208.9 million from $191.0 million.

During the nine-month period, the retailer opened 17 stores and relocated seven others, bringing the chain to a total of 312 stores in 42 states.

Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp.

Qtr. 3/2/02 (x000) 2002 2001 % CHG
a-Earnings in the prior 12-month period include a one-time loss of $815,000 stemming form the early retirement of debt.
Sales $779,820 $722,713 7.9
Oper. income (EBIT) 59,841 58,012 3.2
Net income 37,306 36,115 3.3
Per share (diluted) 0.84 0.82 2.4
Average gross margin 35.4% 34.8%
SG&A expenses 26.8% 26.4%
12 months
Sales 1,975,607 1,873,646 5.4
Oper. income (EBIT) 93,669 113,867 -17.7
Net income 57,994 69,274a -16.3
Per share (diluted) 1.31 1.56 -16.0
Average gross margin 36.8% 36.3%
SG&A expenses 30.9% 29.4%

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