Dillard's 1Q Profit Up 57 Percent

Dillard's Inc. of Little Rock said Friday that first-quarter earnings rose 57 percent to $76.7 million.

"We are extremely pleased to report a strong start to 2011 with record-setting operating results as well as the completion of our 2010 and 2011 share repurchase programs," William T. Dillard II, the company's CEO, said in a news release.

"These results speak for themselves and further affirm the success of our initiatives to create clear distinction at Dillard's and to return value to our shareholders."

Dillard's profit came on first-quarter net sales of $1.469 billion, up from $1.454 billion during the same quarter last year. Those figures include operations of the company's construction business, CDI Contractors.

Excluding CDI sales, Dillard's said total first-quarter merchandise sales reached $1.456 billion compared to $1.429 billion during the same quarter last year. First-quarter merchandise sales were up 2 percent in both total and comparable stores.

Dillard's said the company bought back about $268.7 million, or 6.4 million shares, of the company's Class A Common Stock, completing its 2010 and 2011 share repurchase programs.

The company also reported a 2 percent same-store sales increase and noted an improved gross margin from retail operations and operating expense savings of $4.3 million.

In its report, Dillard's also noted the upcoming closures of three mall locations:

  • Highland Mall in Austin, Texas - 190,000 SF
  • Decatur Mall in Decatur, Ala. - 128,000 SF
  • Westminster Mall in Westminster, Colo. - 159,000 SF

It expects all three to close during the second quarter.

As of April 30, Dillard's operated 294 locations and 14 clearance centers in 29 states. Total square footage was 53.5 million.