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BJ's Q4 Profits Fall 81%

3/02/2011 10:08:11 AM Eastern

Westborough, Mass. -
Store-closure costs and other charges sent fourth-quarter profits plummeting 81
percent to $10.2 million at BJ's Wholesale Club.

Excluding the $41.1
million post-tax expense for closures, restructuring activities and asset
impairment charges, earnings declined 5.9 percent for the three months ended
Jan. 29.

Net sales rose 7.4
percent to $2.9 billion year-over-year, and same-store sales edged up 1.7
percent for the period, excluding revenue from gasoline.

Video gaming was among
BJ's strongest-performing categories in the fourth-quarter, while TVs and
pre-recorded video were among its weakest.

Traffic was up 2 percent
for the period excluding gasoline, and the average transaction amount was flat.

BJ's president/CEO Laura
Sen said she was "very pleased" with the results, which reflect "continued
margin expansion and excellent cost control." She said consistent growth in
member visits and membership renewals indicates that BJ's is taking share from
other retail channels.

More recently, February sales
increased 9.3 percent to $814.1 million, and same-store sales rose 3.1 percent
excluding gasoline. BJ's said comps were negatively impacted 1 percent to 1.5
percent by last month's severe winter weather.

TVs and pre-recorded
video continued to underperform in February, as did computer hardware and
software.