Comp Gain Helps 99 Cents Only Cut Loss In Q3

99 Cents Only Stores improved its results in the third quarter, marked by a slight comp gain and a lower net loss.

For the third quarter ended November 28, 99 Cents Only Stores posted a net loss of $37 million versus a net loss of $152.6 million in the year-before period.

Comparable sales increased 0.8% compared to the year-earlier third quarter, with a higher average ticket, up 1.1%, offset by lower customer traffic, down 0.3%. Higher sales from fresh offerings contribued to the comp gain, 99 Cents Only reported, due to better product availability and higher in-stock levels. In addition, seasonal sales increased due to enhanced assortment of merchandise and a uniform merchandising strategy.

In the quarter, 99 Cents Only net sales increased 1.8%, to $500.1 million versus the previous year period.

Geoffrey Covert, 99 Cents Only president and CEO, said, “The third quarter was a productive period for 99 Cents Only Stores, highlighted by continued sales momentum, improved margins and strong year-over-year growth in adjusted EBITDA. Net sales for the third quarter were $500.1 million, up 1.8% over the prior year period, with sales up 0.8% on a same-store basis. Importantly, adjusted EBITDA of $8.6 million was up 68% compared to the prior year, representing our first quarter of year-over-year growth in adjusted EBITDA since fiscal 2015. Underlying these improved results is a solid liquidity position that we believe will meet our current requirements and future growth objectives.”

The company did not open any new locations during the third quarter of fiscal 2017. At the end of the period, 99 Cents only operated 394 stores.