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Burlington Coat Sees Net Quintuple

NEW YORK — Strong same-store sales bolstered Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp.’s bottom line in the fourth quarter.<br><br>For the three months ended June 1, the Burlington, N.J.-based retailer of outerwear and other apparel and soft...

NEW YORK — Strong same-store sales bolstered Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp.’s bottom line in the fourth quarter.

For the three months ended June 1, the Burlington, N.J.-based retailer of outerwear and other apparel and soft goods reported a nearly fivefold increase in net income to $8.9 million, or 20 cents a share. That compares with last year’s profits of $1.8 million, or 4 cents.

Sales for the quarter increased 14.2 percent to $601.6 million from $526.6 million a year ago, while comparable-store sales grew 5 percent.

“We were very pleased with the traffic we saw in the non-outerwear departments this year in spite of the fact that it was a mild winter and outerwear traffic and sales were off,” said general merchandise manager Stephen Milstein in a conference call with analysts. “In prior years, this typically impacted the other departments and we saw a change this year where the customer reacted to our advertising and our approach to being more than just an outerwear store.”

BCF said quarterly profits were up due to the increase in same-store sales as well as an increase in gross margins.

Breaking down quarterly comps by product, BCF said coats were off 10 percent; men’s wear increased 8 percent; youth, including youth outerwear, grew 8 percent; juvenile furniture was flat; sportswear increased 5 percent; accessories gained 15 percent; shoes grew 15 percent and men’s outerwear fell 10 percent.

For the full fiscal year, BCF reported net income fell 6.9 percent to $66.9 million, or $1.51 a share, 5.9 percent lower than last year’s income of $71 million, or $1.60. Early extinguishment of debt reduced prior-year earnings by $823,000, or 2 cents a share.

Sales for the year increased 7.4 percent to $2.58 billion from $2.4 billion a year ago, as same-store sales ticked down 0.3 percent on warmer winter weather.

Over the course of the year, BCF opened 29 new stores, closed five, relocated seven, and expanded or remodeled 12. It operated 319 units as of June 1.