HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Strong momentum in its hardlines business, led by appliances and electronics, has helped push Sears, Roebuck and Co. to a second-quarter net income of $388 million, up 17.2 percent over the $331 million recorded in the year-ago second quarter.
In retail, robust hardlines sales and improved selling and administrative expenses resulting in operating income growth of 9.8 percent for the second quarter ended July 1, reaching $190 million, compared to $173 million for the second quarter in 1999.
Total sales for the second quarter increased 4.6 percent to $10.08 billion, compared to $9.64 billion in the same period last year. Retail sales, the lion's share of Sears' total, hit $7.3 billion for the second quarter, 4.2 percent above the $7 billion registered in the year-ago second quarter.
"We continue to benefit from the strength of our retail and credit businesses, which both contributed to strong growth in operating income and record earnings this quarter," said Arthur C. Martinez, chairman/CEO. "In our retail business, we posted solid sales growth and lower selling and administrative expenses."
For the first six months, retail revenues were $13.6 billion, up 3.6 percent from the $13.1 billion recorded in the same six months in 1999. Operating income for retail was $193 million for the six months, an 86 percent jump over the $104 million registered in the year-ago period.
Net income for the first six months rose 31 percent to $623 million, compared to $477 million in the same six-month period last year. Total sales for the six months increases 4.1 percent to $19.04 million, up from $18.29 million in the year-ago six months.