By  on April 28, 2005

NEW YORK — Kohl’s Corp. on Wednesday affirmed its 2005 earnings growth target of 20 percent above last year’s results.

The Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based retailer made the affirmation at its annual shareholders meeting. The drivers of the increase, the company said, include returning to a mid-single-digit comparable-store sales increase as well as maintaining the gross margin rate achieved in 2004. The retailer will also continue to manage expenses while prudently investing in areas necessary to support the company’s future growth.

For the fiscal year ended Jan. 29, 2004, the company posted a 25.7 percent increase in net income to $730.4 million, or $2.12 a diluted share, from $580.9 million, or $1.69, in the same year-ago period. Sales rose 13.8 percent to $11.7 billion from $10.3 billion a year ago.

The retailer said it believed that growth in 2004 was a result of initiatives taken during the year such as reducing inventory levels, improving merchandise into the stores and expanding certain merchandise offerings.

Brands sold at Kohl’s include: apt. 9, Urban Pipeline, Chaps, Bongo, Royal Velvet, Villager, Sag Harbor.

The company expects to spend $875 million in capital investments this year, compared with the $890 million invested in 2004. Kohl’s opened 95 new stores last year and expects to open another 95 stores during 2005.

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