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Circuit City Q1 Sales Gain 7%

6/04/2004 10:35:00 AM Eastern

Richmond, Va. – Easy year-ago comparisons helped Circuit City’s sales spike 7 percent to nearly $2.1 billion for the first fiscal quarter ended May 31, while same-store sales gained 6.4 percent.

For the year-ago period, total revenue fell 9 percent and comparable-store sales declined 10 percent.

The sales results also included $21.5 million in revenue from InterTan, the Canadian CE retail operation that Circuit City acquired on May 12.

CEO Alan McCollough acknowledged that the comp-store gains partly reflected last year’s soft first-quarter performance, which was the weakest period of the 2003 fiscal year for the nation’s No. 2 CE chain. But he also cited "ongoing improvements in execution" by the company’s store operations group, and continued strong growth in online sales.

Also enjoying accelerated sales growth was the flat-panel TV category — with plasma and LCD displays enjoying triple-digit comp gains last quarter — and DVD players and digital imaging, which both saw double-digit comp-store hikes. Those increases helped offset the double-digit decline in direct-view TV revenue and a slight decline in camcorder sales, the company said.

The chain also enjoyed strong comp gains in computer notebooks, monitors and portable audio, all up in the double-digit range, while home audio, printers, and gaming hardware and software fell by the same pace.