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BJ’s Sales Rise

Natick, Mass. — Net sales at BJ’s Wholesale Club increased 7.7 percent in the retailer’s fiscal second quarter, coming in at nearly $2 billion, up from $1.8 billion in the same three months a year earlier.

Comp-store sales rose 3.2 percent, including a 0.4 percent contribution from gasoline sales.

Net income in the second quarter, ended July 30, increased to $30.5 million, compared with a year-ago $28 million. Last year’s results included a post-tax charge of $3.6 million and post-tax income of $3.1 million. The retailer also has lowered its earnings guidance for the year, based on lower-than-planned profitability on the sales of gasoline during the second quarter and a revised estimate for gas profitability in the third quarter.

“For the first half of 2005, we achieved solid results while continuing to focus on innovation,” said Mike Wedge, president/CEO. “An ongoing theme for BJ’s in 2005 is steadily improving merchandise margins driven by higher penetration of private brand and fresh food sales, as well as lower merchandise costs achieved through global sourcing and initiatives,” Wedge said.

For the six months, net sales rose 8.7 percent, hitting $3.8 billion, up from $3.5 billion in the first half of last year.

First-half net income reached $49.1 million, compared with $44.1 million year-on-year. First-half figures included $2.9 million in post-tax income and a $1.8 million post-tax expense.

BJ’s purchased $15 million worth of its common stock during the second quarter. Year-to-date, the retailer has purchased stock worth $48.6 million.