Minneapolis - Target recorded a sales gain and a double-digit increase in net earnings in its fiscal first quarter, ended May 1.
Earnings were $671 million, up 28.6 percent from $522 million year on year. Sales increased 5.5 percent to $15.12 billion, from $14.4 billion year on year.
In its retail segment, sales increased 5.5 percent in the first quarter to $15.2 billion in 2010, from $14.4 billion in 2009, due to a 2.8 percent increase in comp-store sales and the contribution from new stores.
Retail segment earnings before interest expense and income taxes (EBIT) were $1.11 billion in the first quarter, an increase of 15.2 percent, from $962 million year on year.
First-quarter gross margin rate was 31.3 percent, up from 30.8 percent in 2009, due to gross margin rate improvements within categories. Target said the impact of sales mix on gross margin rate was essentially neutral, as sales increased at a similar pace in both higher-margin and lower-margin categories.