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Lowe’s ‘Cautious’ On 2nd Half As Sales, Earnings Increase

8/21/2006 11:29:00 AM Eastern

Mooresville,, N.C. – Lowe's reported net earnings of $935 million for the quarter ended Aug. 4, an 11.4 percent increase over the same period a year ago.

Sales for the quarter increased 12.2 percent to $13.4 billion, up from $11.9 billion in the second quarter of 2005. For the six months ended August 4, sales increased 15.9 percent to $25.3 billion.

Total sales results were impacted by the calendar shift described in the business outlook section of this release. Comparable store sales for the second quarter increased 3.3 percent and increased 4.4 percent in the first half of 2006, the chain said.

Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman, president/CEO, said, “Despite a backdrop of higher energy costs and a tumultuous geo-political environment that has weighed on the consumer, the team remained focused on providing great customer service and compelling merchandise offerings.” One of the categories as continuing to capture market share was major appliances.

“We remain focused on strategies to grow our business, however near-term pressures on the U.S. consumer have led to a more cautious outlook for the balance of the year,” Niblock added. “As we enter the second half of 2006, we remain committed to providing the knowledgeable and attentive service customers have come to expect from Lowe's while prudently managing expenses in the current sales environment.”

During the quarter, Lowe's opened 24 new stores including one that was a relocation. As of August 4, Lowe's operated 1,281 stores in 49 states representing 145.4 million square feet of retail selling space, a 12.4 percent increase over last year.

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