NEW YORK — Earnings at Burlington Coat Factory Inc. nearly doubled in the fiscal year ended June 28, despite a loss of $2.5 million in the fourth quarter.
Full-year profits rocketed 95 percent to $56 million, or $1.41 a share, prompting the off-pricer to declare its first-ever cash dividend. Sales shot up 10.4 percent to $1.75 billion from $1.59 billion.
In 1996, earnings came to $29 million, or 71 cents a share, on sales of $1.59 billion.
Burlington Coat will pay the cash dividend of 2 cents on Oct. 16 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 19. BC also declared a 20 percent stock dividend, which also will be paid on Oct. 16, to shareholders as of Oct. 1.
The off-pricer’s sales rose 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter to $328.8 million from $318.9 million. Same-store sales grew 7.4 percent.
The company lost $4 million in last year’s fourth quarter.
“Balance sheet results were excellent and our total shareholders’ equity increased 11.2 percent to $460.2 million, or $11.53 a share, from $414 million, or $10.16 a share, last year,” Monroe G. Milstein, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

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