BJ's Q4 Profits Fall 81%


Westborough, Mass. - Store-closure costs and other charges sent fourth-quarter profits plummeting 81 percent to $10.2 million at BJ's Wholesale Club.

Excluding the $41.1 million post-tax expense for closures, restructuring activities and asset impairment charges, earnings declined 5.9 percent for the three months ended Jan. 29.

Net sales rose 7.4 percent to $2.9 billion year-over-year, and same-store sales edged up 1.7 percent for the period, excluding revenue from gasoline.

Video gaming was among BJ's strongest-performing categories in the fourth-quarter, while TVs and pre-recorded video were among its weakest.

Traffic was up 2 percent for the period excluding gasoline, and the average transaction amount was flat.

BJ's president/CEO Laura Sen said she was "very pleased" with the results, which reflect "continued margin expansion and excellent cost control." She said consistent growth in member visits and membership renewals indicates that BJ's is taking share from other retail channels.

More recently, February sales increased 9.3 percent to $814.1 million, and same-store sales rose 3.1 percent excluding gasoline. BJ's said comps were negatively impacted 1 percent to 1.5 percent by last month's severe winter weather.

TVs and pre-recorded video continued to underperform in February, as did computer hardware and software.


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