NEW YORK — Caldor Corp. said Monday that “conservative” holiday promotions helped it post modest profit increases of 3.3 percent and 7.2 percent for the quarter and year, respectively.
Caldor, the nation’s fourth-largest discounter, reported fourth-quarter earnings before special items of $39.1 million, or $2.33 a share, compared with $37.8 million, or $2.26. After a $3.8 million after-tax charge for early retirement of debt, year-ago net was $34.1 million or $2.03.
Sales in the quarter increased 10.8 percent to $938 million from $858.5 million. Same-store store sales declined 1 percent.
Don R. Clarke, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement the results “reflect a good margin performance, which was helped by excellent shrinkage results and conservative promotions during the Christmas season.” He said the company continued to show improved earnings despite increasing competition, including Wal-Mart, which now competes with about 30 percent of Caldor’s stores.
Caldor’s gross margins in the fourth quarter improved to 28.2 percent of sales from 27.6 percent.
For the year, profits rose 7.2 percent to $44.4 million, or $2.65 a share, after a pretax charge of $3.8 million for relocating facilities. Net earnings were $33.2 million or $2.01 a share. Caldor ended the year with 163 units and plans to add stores in New York City. Caldor shares fell 3/8 to 22 on the New York Stock Exchange. — Fairchild News Service