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Dillard’s profit falls 94%

Little Rock, Ark. – Dillard’s late yesterday reported that its first quarter net earnings dropped 94% to $2.7 million, or 4 cents per share.

“The weak economic conditions, particularly in Florida, made it extremely difficult to achieve profitable sales levels, said ceo William Dillard II in a statement. “We will continue to run our business conservatively to navigate the near-term economic uncertainty.”

For the quarter ended May 3, sales dropped 4.9%, with comp stores declining 6.0%.

Dillard’s cut SG&A (selling, general and administrative expenses) by $17.8 million during the quarter and announced six store closures: Lexington, Ky.; Richmond, Va.; Greeley, Co.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Pocatello, Idaho; and Franklin, Ohio. The company also closed its distribution center in Louisville, Ken., resulting in a $600,000 charge after taxes, or 1 cent per share.

The retailer also opened six stores during the quarters: Ocala and Panama City, Fla.; Lake Havasu, Ariz.; Macon, Ga.; Cedar Hill, Texas; and Biloxi, Miss.

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