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Dollar General Posts 2012 Comp Gains

For the fiscal year ended February 1, Dollar General Corp. reported net income of $953 million, or $2.85 per diluted share, versus $767 million, or $2.22 per diluted share, for fiscal year 2011, the retailer announced. Adjusted net income, excluding extraordinary factors, increased to $973 million, or $2.91 per diluted share, versus $819 million, or $2.37 per diluted share, in fiscal 2011.

Comparable store sales increased 4.7%. Customer traffic and average transaction amount both increased, the result of refining the company’s merchandise offerings, improvements in category management processes and store standards, and increased utilization of store square footage, Dollar General stated. Consumables sales growth outpaced that of non-consumables, with sales of snacks, candy, beverages and perishables contributing the majority of the increase throughout the year, the company noted.

Net sales in 2012 increased 8.2% to $16.02 billion versus $14.81 billion in 2011, according to Dollar General. Excluding the impact of the 2011 53rd week, net sales increased 10.4%.

For the fourth quarter, net income was $317 million, or 97 cents per diluted share, versus $293 million, or 85 cents per diluted share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted net income was $299 million, or 87 cents per diluted share. The company estimated that the 2011 53rd week added six cents per share to quarterly results.

A published consensus analyst estimate from Thompson Reuters called for fourth quarter earnings of 90 cents per share.

Comp store sales increased 3%, with customer traffic and average transaction amount gaining. Comp increases were primarily driven by consumables, the company related. Net sales increased 0.5% to $4.21 billion, it asserted.

“Dollar General had yet another outstanding year in 2012 including exceptionally strong fourth quarter results. We grew our market share and invested strategically to continue to win with our customers. These results demonstrate the strength of our business strategy, and we believe we are very well-positioned for future growth,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General chairman and CEO.