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Rex Q4 Sales Slide 4%

3/31/2005 09:44:00 AM Eastern

Dayton, Ohio — Rex Stores reported a 4 percent drop in fiscal fourth-quarter sales, down to $125.4 million, from $130.2 million in the year-ago period, despite the strength of television sales, the chain’s strongest category — reflecting higher demand for LCD, DLP, plasma and other high-definition TVs.

Net income at Rex also hit the downside in the fourth quarter, ended Jan. 31, dropping to $16.8 million, compared with $17.1 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Comp-store sale for the three months fell 2 percent.

Net income in the fiscal fourth quarter includes $4.8 million of investment income from a synthetic fuel limited partnership, down from $6.1 million the previous year. Results also reflect an income tax benefit of $7.8 million, compared with $5.2 million in the fourth quarter a year ago.

For the 12 months, Rex sales reached $391.3 million, down from $405.4 million the previous year. Comp-store sales were off 2 percent.

Net income for the 12 months reached $27.5 million, compared with $27.4 million a year ago. Net income for the year includes $18.6 million of investment income, compared with $16 million a year ago, as well as an income tax benefit of $6.8 million, compared with a year-earlier $1.7 million.

During the fourth quarter, Rex purchased about 70,000 shares of its common stock in open-market transactions. The retailer has about 430,745 shares remaining available to purchase under its previously announced stock buy-back plan.

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