Home, Furniture Strong But Dillard’s Q4 Comps Slip

For the fourth quarter ended January 30, Dillard’s posted net income of $84 million, or $2.31 per share, versus $130.5 million, or $3.17 per share, for the prior-year period. Comparable sales slipped 2%.

Net sales were $2.07 billion versus $2.14 billion for the quarter a year earlier. Total merchandise sales, excluding revenues from Dillard’s CDI Contractors construction subsidiary, were $2.02 billion versus $2.07 billion in the 2014 period. Sales performance was strongest in home and furniture followed by ladies’ accessories and lingerie. Weaker performing segments were juniors, children’s apparel and shoes. In terms of regions, sales were strongest in the west followed by the east and central. The company asserted that sales were particularly weak in the southern border and energy producing areas.

For the full fiscal year, Dillard’s posted net income for the 52 weeks ended January 30 of $269.4 million, or $6.91 per share, versus $331.9 million, or $7.79 per share, for the prior year 52-week period. Included in net income for the most recent fiscal year is a net after-tax credit of $8.1 million, or 21 cents per share, related to the sale of four store locations, the company said, adding that fiscal 2014 results included a net after-tax gain to income totaling $3.8 million, or nine cents per share, related to the sale of a store location.

Comparable sales for the fiscal year also decreased 2%. Net sales for the fiscal year were $6.6 billion versus $6.62 billion for the fiscal 2014. Total merchandise sales, excluding CDI revenues, for the fiscal year were $6.39 billion versus $6.49 billion for the fiscal year earlier.

William Dillard, II, the retailer’s CEO,  said, “The fourth quarter was difficult. As sales came in less than planned, we worked hard to control our inventory during an unusually competitive environment. Higher markdowns affected gross margin, but we did the right thing as we move on to 2016.”

The retailer operates 273 Dillard’s locations and 24 clearance centers spanning 29 states.