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BJ’s Q4 Sales Rise 6.9%

3/01/2005 09:44:00 AM Eastern

Natick, Mass. — Boosted by what it calls a “value proposition that is more compelling to its members,” BJ’s Wholesale Club reported increased sales for both its fiscal fourth quarter and full year.

Fourth-quarter sales climbed 6.9 percent, hitting $2 billion, up from $1.9 billion in the year-ago quarter. Comp-store sales for the period, ended Jan. 29, increased 3.4 percent, including a 1.2 percent contribution from gasoline sales.

However, net income in the fourth quarter dropped to $47 million, down from a year-earlier $49.2 million. Earnings for the three months, as well as the full fiscal year, were reduced by $7.2 million pretax, as a result of a correction of errors in the company’s accounting for certain leases.

For the 12 months, total sales climbed 10.2 percent, reaching $7.2 billion, up from $6.6 billion in the same period the previous year. Comp-store sales jumped 6 percent in the period, including a contribution of 1.1 percent from gasoline sales.

Net income for the year increased to $114.4 million, compared with a year-ago $102.9 million.

BJ’s said it will purchase an additional $100 million in common stock. The company had $45 million remaining under its previous authorization at year-end.

During the fourth quarter, BJ’s repurchased about $17.3 million in common stock and $45.3 million for the full year.

At the end of its fiscal year, the wholesale club had 157 locations in operation, compared with 150 at the end of the previous year.

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