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BJ’s Sales Rise 5%, Comps Edge Upward

3/01/2006 09:51:00 AM Eastern

Natick, Mass. — Sales at BJ’s Wholesale Club increased 5 percent in the retailer’s fiscal fourth quarter, rising to $2.1 billion, from a year-ago $2 billion. Comparable club sales rose 1.7 percent, including a contribution of 1 percent from gasoline sales.

Net income in the fourth quarter, ended Jan. 28, reached $51.6 million, up nearly 10 percent from a year-on-year $47 million, an increase attributed mainly to nearly a 10 percent rise in gasoline sales, said the warehouse club retailer.

For the 12 months, BJ’s sales climbed 7.8 percent, hitting $7.8 billion, compared with $7.2 billion the previous year. Comparable club sales were up 3.6 percent, including a 1.3 percent contribution from sales of gasoline.

Net income for the 12 months rose to $128.5 million, about a 13 percent increase over the $114.4 million reported the prior year. Adjusted net income for the 12 months was $126 million, compared with adjusted net income of $117.1 million year-over-year.

Membership fees for BJ’s warehouse club operation climbed to $42.1 million in the fourth quarter, up from $40.6 million year-on-year. For the 12 months, membership fees came in at $166 million, compared with a year-earlier $155 million.

During the fourth quarter, BJ’s purchased about 291,000 shares of the company’s common stock at an average cost of $27.52 per share, or about $8 million. In the 12 months, the retailer purchased about 2.5 million shares at an average cost of $28.88 per share, or about $73 million. This leaves about $72 million remaining under current authorization.

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