Fred's Says Sales are Up for July, Second Quarter


MEMPHIS (AP) – Discount retailer Fred's Inc. said a key revenue measurement rose 2.5 percent in July to $142.2 million.

That topped the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for an increase in revenue at stores open at least a year of 1.5 percent.

The figure is considered a key measure of a retailer's financial performance because it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores.

Fred's Inc. said Wednesday that its total revenue for July increased 4 percent to $142.2 million from $136.8 million last year.

Fred's CEO Bruce Efird said the general merchandise and pharmacy departments equally contributed to the month's increase, helped in part by promotions to increase traffic.

The company also said its total revenue for its second quarter increased 2 percent to $482.3 million from $470.8 million last year. Analysts polled by FactSet, on average, were forecasting revenue of $481.3 million for the period.

Its revenue from established stores increased 2.2 percent for the quarter, compared with a decline of 1.1 percent a year ago.

During the second quarter, Fred's opened two new stores, closed 20 and opened one new pharmacy location.

Efrid said the company is confident that the quarter's earnings will fall within its earlier forecasts. Fred's predicted in May that it would earn between 6 and 9 cents per share for the quarter. Analysts are forecasting 9 cents per share.

Fred's, based in Memphis, Tenn., has 697 discount general merchandise stores, including 21 franchised Fred's stores, in the southeastern United States.

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