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Dillard's makes net income and sales strides in 4Q, fiscal 2010

Little Rock, Ark. - Dillard's enjoyed significant net income gains -- double-digit for the fourth quarter and triple-digit for the full year - as well as some more modest increases in sales in the two reporting periods.

"Our fourth-quarter results underscore a year of progress at Dillard's," said ceo William T. Dillard II. "We began 2010 well positioned to achieve notable results, and we remained focused on our core initiatives throughout the year. We executed disciplined inventory management and controlled our expenses while seeking clear distinction in the mind of the fashion consumer."

For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 29, the 294-unit 29-state department store chain
reported a 38% increase in net income to $109.6 million, or $1.75 per diluted share, compared to $79.5 million, or $1.08 per share. The company noted that included in the 13-week's net income results are: $7.5 million proceeds received as final payment related to hurricane losses ($4.8 million after tax or 8 cents per share); a $2.2 million pretax gain on disposal of assets primarily related to three closed stores ($1.4 million after tax or 2 cents per share); and a $6.5 million income tax benefit (10 cents per share) primarily related to net decreases in unrecognized tax benefits, interest and penalties due to resolutions of federal and state examinations, decreases in state net operating loss valuation allowances, and a decrease in a capital loss valuation allowance.

Total merchandise sales for the 13 weeks grew by 6.6% to $1.912 billion compared to $1.794 billion. And comparable store sales increased 7% in the quarter.

For the full fiscal year, Dillard's net income increased 162% to $179.6 million, or $2.67 per diluted share, compared to the prior year's $68.5 million, or $0.93 per share. Included in net income for the 52 weeks ended Jan. 29, 2011 are the following items: $7.5 million proceeds received as final payment related to hurricane losses ($4.8 million after tax or 7 cents per share); non-cash pretax asset impairment and store closing charges of $2.2 million ($1.4 million after tax or 2 cents per share); a $5.1 million pretax gain on disposal of assets primarily related to five closed stores ($3.3 million after tax or $0.05 per share); and a $9.7 million income tax benefit (14 cents per share) primarily related to net decreases in unrecognized tax benefits, interest and penalties due to resolutions of federal and state examinations, decreases in state net operating loss valuation allowances, and a decrease in a capital loss valuation allowance.

Total merchandise sales for the 52-week period were up 2.2% to $6.020 billion compared to $5.890 billion in 2009. And comparable store sales increased 3%.

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