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Target’s Q1 Sales Up 12.1%

Minneapolis — Target reported net earnings for the first quarter, ended April 29, of $554 million, compared with $494 million year-over-year, with total revenues up 12.1 percent to $12.9 billion and same-store sales growing 5.1 percent for the three-month period.

“We are pleased with our first quarter results,” said Bob Ulrich, Target’s chairman/CEO, “and believe they reflect our continued success in delighting our guests with the right combination of innovation, design and value.”

Target attributed the strong sales gains to its comp store increases, new store expansion and the company’s credit card operations.

Earnings before interest and income taxes (EBIT) in the first quarter of 2006 increased 12.2 percent to $1.02 billion, compared with $907 million in the first quarter a year ago. Key contributors to this EBIT growth included more rapid profit growth in Target’s credit card operations and the benefit of a non-recurring $28 million pretax adjustment to depreciation and amortization, partially offset by unfavorable expense rate performance, the company said.

The No. 2 discount chain operated 1,418 Target stores in 47 states at the end of the quarter.