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Belk ekes out 1Q profit, in line with expectations

Charlotte, N.C. -- Family owned Belk Stores today reported a first quarter profit of $500,000, well off the $5.1 million the retailer reported in last year’s first quarter.

 “First-quarter results were in line with our expectations,” said Tim Belk, chairman and ceo. “Although results continue to reflect the weakened economy, we have begun to see some stabilization in the operating environment, which is positive.”

The balance sheet, he added, had more than $250 million in cash, almost twice the amount Belk had at the end of the year-ago period.

Sales for the first quarter ended May 2 fell 6.9% to $760.9 million, with comps dropping off 7.7%.

The 308-unit regional department store opened three new stores during the quarter: Newman and Winder, Ga.; and Richmond, Ky. Belk also completed a store expansion in Knoxville, Tenn., and is on track to compete store expansions later this year in Ashland, Ky., and Hilton Head Island, N.C.

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