Dollar General plans aggressive store expansion
Goodlettsville, Tenn. – Continued momentum from strong sales in the fourth quarter is reinforcing Dollar General’s brick-and-mortar expansion strategy for this year.
The company reiterated its 2020 plans to adopt about 2,600 real estate projects – including 1,000 new store openings, 1,500 mature store remodels and 80 store relocations.
“Our value-and-convenience proposition continues to resonate with both new and existing customers, and our unique real estate footprint remains a competitive advantage,” cited CEO Todd Vasos.
Fourth quarter net income jumped 10.8% to $535.4 million, or $2.10 per diluted share, from $483.2 million, or $1.84 per diluted share, a year ago.
Net sales for the three months, ended Jan. 31, increased 7.6% to $7.2 billion from $6.6 billion, driven by positive sales contributions from new stores and growth in same-store sales but modestly offset by the impact of store closures.
Same-store sales gained 3.2%, aided by increases in both customer traffic and average transaction amount as well as growth in the home, seasonal, consumables apparel categories.
“We are very pleased with our fourth quarter results, capping off a strong year of performance across the company,” Vasos added. “Our full-year results were highlighted by double-digit diluted EPS growth, as well as our 30th consecutive year of same-store sales growth. During the fourth quarter, we delivered a healthy 3.2% increase in same-store sales, as well as strong margin performance. In addition, we executed well across many fronts, including our operating priorities and strategic initiatives.”
Results for fiscal 2019 included:
A 2% net income increase to $1.7 billion, or $6.64 per diluted share, from $1.6 billion, or $5.97 per diluted share
An 8.3% net sales increase to$27.8 billion from $25.6 billion in 2018, driven by positive sales contributions from new stores and growth in same-store sales, modestly offset by the impact of store closures
A 3.9% same-store sales gain from growth in both average transaction amount and customer traffic as well as gains in the home, seasonal, consumables and apparel categories
Looking ahead, the company shared its outlook for Fiscal 2020, which calls for:
Net sales growth of 7.5% to 8.0%
Same-store sales growth of 2.5% to 3.0%
Diluted EPS growth of approximately 11.5%
Capital expenditures in the range of $925 million to $975 million, including those related to investments in the Company’s strategic initiatives
That said, Dollar General cited expected macro impacts to its future business, namely tariffs on Chinese imports and the COVID-19 coronavirus.
On the former, the company noted its diluted EPS growth guidance considers the anticipated impact of previously implemented tariff rates on certain products imported from China. “The guidance does not contemplate any additional increases in tariff rates, any expansion of additional products subject to tariffs, or any tariff-related impacts to broader consumer spending,” the company noted.
Regarding the latter, the company continued, the supply chain disruptions experienced to date as a result of the coronavirus outbreak are not expected to materially impact Dollar General's Fiscal 2020 results. In the meantime, the company continues to monitor the evolving situation, caveating “there is no guarantee that this outbreak will not have a more significant impact on its business.”
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