Mooresville, N.C. - The weak economy continued to take a toll on Lowe's during its third fiscal quarter.
The No. 2 home-improvement chain said profits fell 29.5 percent to $344 million and net sales slipped 3 percent to $11.4 billion for the three months ending Oct. 30. Same-store sales slid 7.5 percent during the period.
"The broad-based pressures of the macro environment are clearly evident in our sales as consumers continue to delay large purchases until they feel better about the economic outlook," observed chairman/CEO Robert Niblock. But while consumer spending remained weak, he said the company was pleased with its sequential improvement in comp-store sales from the second quarter, and its "continued evidence of solid market share gains."
Niblock added that the company is starting to see signs of improvement in some of the nation's hardest-hit housing markets, including California, Florida and sections of the Southwest.
Lowe's opened 12 stores and closed one during the quarter, representing a 4.9 percent increase in retail selling space year over year. The chain operated 1,699 locations in the U.S. and Canada as of Oct. 30.