WILKESBORO, N.C. - Riding high on a strong performance across all geographic regions and all product categories, home improvement retailer Lowe's Cos. enjoyed a 22.2 percent increase in sales for its fiscal second quarter, hitting $7.5 billion, up from $6.1 billion in the year-ago period. Comp-store sales for the second three months increased 6.8 percent.
Net earnings in the second quarter, ended August 2, soared 41.9 percent, to $467.1 million, up from $329.1 million in the same three months in 2001.
Looking at the third quarter, Lowe's expects to open 20 stores, with total sales expected to increase 18 to 19 percent. The retailer expects a comp-store sales increase of 3 percent to 5 percent in the period, as well as a 40 to 50 basis point gross margin improvement.
For the 12 months, Lowe's expects to open 123 stores, with total sales reflecting a 20 percent rise. The retailer expects to report a comp-store sales increase of about 5 percent in its fiscal year. Gross margin is expected to improve by about 85 basis points.
For the six months, Lowe's sales increased 22.4 percent, to $14 billion, up from $11.4 billion in the first half of fiscal 2001. Comp-store sales in the first half of the year hit 7.1 percent. Net earning for the six months reached $812.9 million, up 46.6 percent from the $554.4 million reported year over year.