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Conn’s Q4 Sales Soar 30.4%

3/30/2006 08:39:00 AM Eastern

Beaumont, Texas — In a year that included two hurricanes, changes in retail management and a jump in sales growth, specialty retailer Conn’s reported a 30.5 percent increase in sales during its fiscal fourth quarter, rising to $184.9 million, up from a year-ago $141.7 million.

Same-store sales soared 22.6 percent in the three months.

When $21.7 million in finance charges and other are added to Conn’s fourth-quarter sales, total revenue in the period rose 27 percent, reaching $206.6 million, up from the $162.7 million registered the prior year. Fourth quarter finance charges compared with $21 million recorded a year earlier, a 3.4 percent increase.

Net income in the fourth quarter, ended Jan. 31, moved up 39.8 percent, hitting $12.9 million, compared with $9.2 million in the same three months the previous year.

“This was a remarkable year in so many ways,” said Thomas Frank, chairman/CEO. “We successfully made substantial modifications in our retail division management early in the year and in the second half of the year contended with two hurricanes and phenomenal sales growth.

“Our team was up to the challenges in every case and delivered excellent bottom-line growth. We take what we learned with those successes into the new year where again we expect to encounter challenges and will apply ourselves in the same manner, demanding excellence from ourselves and our associates.”

Conn’s, which offers a mix of major appliances, consumer electronics, computers, mattresses, furniture and lawn and garden products, operates 56 stores in the states of Texas and Louisiana; six of the stores are located in Louisiana. During the year, the retailer added six new stores overall, and expects to operate about 62 to 64 locations by the end of January 2007.

Unlike many competitors, Conn’s provides flexible in-house credit options for its customers, and historically has financed on average about 57 percent of its retail sales.

For the 12 months, Conn’s boosted total sales 25.6 percent, rising to $620.7 million from a year-ago $494.2 million. Increases in finance charges of 12.1 percent, to $81.7 million from $72.9 million, helped push up total revenue for the year by 23.9 percent, coming in at $702.4 million, compared with a year-earlier $567.1 million.

Net income for the 12 months increased 36.7 percent, hitting $41.2 million, up from $30.1 million the previous year.

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