Minneapolis – Best Buy reported
strong double-digit sales and profit gains in its global and U.S. businesses
for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Feb. 27.
Net earnings increased 38 percent to $810 million and net revenue
rose 12 percent to $16.6 billion for the three-month period, reflecting a
7-percent gain in comparable store sales, the addition of new stores and the favorable
impact of currency fluctuations.
Within the U.S., net revenue rose 11 percent to $12.6 billion and
comp store sales increased 7.4 percent due to an increase in the average
The quarter’s strongest product performers included notebook
computers and mobile phones, which both saw low double-digit increases in comp
store sales, and flat panel TVs, whose comp sales grew by the high single
digits. The gains in these categories stemmed from unit growth, and notebook
and TV volume was partially offset by declines in average selling prices, Best
Weakest performers included music and movie software, which
declined by the low double digits.
The chain estimates its market share grew about 2.6 percent for
the three months ended Jan. 31, with the most pronounced increases coming in
the critical flat panel, notebook, mobile phone and digital imaging categories.
For the full fiscal year, net earnings increased 35 percent to
$1.4 billion and total revenue grew 10 percent to $49.7 billion, boosted by a
20-percent spike in online revenue, to about $2 billion.
Chief financial officer Jim Muehlbauer said the company was “very
pleased” with its full-year performance. “We delivered a comparable store sales
gain for the year, capitalized on market share opportunities and managed
expenses to deliver a financial outcome well above the expectations we had at
the beginning of the year,” he said.
Looking ahead, Best Buy is projecting net revenue gains of 5
percent to 7 percent for the current fiscal year, which would total between $52
billion and $53 billion, and comp sale increases of 1 percent to 3 percent.
The revenue hikes reflect the planned opening of 50 to 55 Best
Buy stores, mostly located in the U.S.; 75 to 100 small-format stores, comprised
largely of U.S. Best Buy Mobile stores; and 10 to 15 Five Star stores in China.
“In fiscal 2010, we made a deliberate effort to profitably
acquire new customers with the purpose of introducing them to the benefits of
our connected world strategy. In fiscal 2011, we plan to capitalize on these
actions to create stronger relationships with our customers and improve
profits,” Muehlbauer said.
Added Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn, “We believe the next stage of our
growth will be fueled by our employees helping customers connect to the things
and people they care most about, and our investments around the world flow
directly from that point of view.”