DAYTON, OHIO -Big-screen TVs remained the strongest sales category at specialty CE products and appliances retailer Rex Stores during the fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 31. The positive TV sales news partially offset what the company said were challenging comparisons in the appliance and lower-end electronics categories.
Third-quarter net income jumped 16 percent to $2.9 million, compared with $2.5 million in the same three months last year. Net sales increased only 3 percent to $105.1 million in the third quarter, compared with $102.4 million in the year-ago three months.
Comp-store sales at Rex, however, dropped 7 percent during the third quarter. These are stores open for six full fiscal quarters, and sales do not include extended service contracts.
In the first nine months, net income climbed 17 percent to $10.1 million, compared with $8.6 million in the third quarter of 1999. Net sales for the first nine months inched up 2 percent to $313.9 million, compared with $309.2 million in the comparable fiscal-1999 period.
Comp-store sales for the first nine months of fiscal 2000 fell 6 percent.
Rex said it purchased 640,400 shares of its common stock during the fiscal third quarter and 74,000 shares subsequent to the close of the quarter, bringing the total number of shares repurchased since the fiscal year began to 2,504,000. Authorized shares totaling 853,900 remain available for repurchase under a previously announced stock buyback program.
Rex announced 30 new stores locations in fiscal 2000 but will slow store expansion in fiscal 2001, opening about 10 to 15 new stores as opposed to a previously planned 35 to 40 units. The company prefers to focus on existing store performance, it said.