Dollar General Sees Q4 Profit Drop

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. -- National discount retailer Dollar General Corp. said yesterday its fourth-quarter profit fell 66 percent as restructuring plans took a toll on its performance. Earnings for the quarter ended Feb. 2 fell to $50.1 million, or 16 cents per share, from $145.3 million, or 46 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier.

Revenue increased 3 percent, to $2.55 billion from $2.48 billion.

For the year, net income was $137.9 million, or 44 cents per share, compared with net income of $350.2 million, or $1.08 per share, for fiscal year 2005. Net sales in fiscal 2006 were $9.17 billion, an increase of 6.8 percent over fiscal 2005.

The net sales increase for the year reflects a 3.3 percent increase in same-store sales and the addition of 537 new stores, offset by 237 store closings.

Dollar General's fourth-quarter results include charges related to store closings, marketing for a large clearance sale, and other markdown-related costs that totaled $24.7 million. The retailer said in November it would close 400 stores and open about 300 new locations. It has also changed inventory management methods and now relies on clearance sales to move out unsold merchandise.

Dollar General announced March 12 that its board agreed to a buyout offer of about $6.9 billion from private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in a deal that will take the discount retailer private.

Dollar General shareholders must still approve the offer. The company's board is recommending that its shareholders vote for it.

The chain operates about 8,260 stores that serve mostly moderate- to lower-income shoppers.
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