Gross profit as a percentage of net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 increased 120 basis points to 34.3% compared to 33.1% for the fourth quarter of last year. The improvement in gross profit for the quarter was primarily due to higher merchandise margin and to a lesser extent lower occupancy costs as a percentage of net sales. Gross profit as a percentage of net sales for fiscal 2011 increased 40 basis points to 32.1% compared to 31.7% last year. The improvement in gross profit for the year was due to lower occupancy costs, partially offset by lower merchandise margin related to the clearance of seasonal outdoor merchandise in the first half of fiscal 2011.
Barry Feld, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Fiscal 2011 marked another year of significant progress for Cost Plus World Market. Growth in revenue was driven by continued improvement in customer count and our first annual increase in the average ticket since 2007. Notably, we saw acceleration in same store sales growth during the second half of fiscal 2011, culminating in a 7.6% comp in the fourth quarter. This momentum has continued into the first quarter of fiscal 2012, reinforcing management’s view that Cost Plus World Market is uniquely positioned to capture market share in a value based economy while steadily increasing bottom line profitability.”
Mr. Feld concluded, “We now have two years of solid growth and profitability behind us, as well as a very promising year ahead. We entered 2012 debt free and remain optimistic about our growth trajectory across all channels as evidenced by our 2012 outlook. Our fiscal 2012 plan calls for measured investment in the business, which will be funded by cash flow from operations. Management will continue to tightly control expenses as we execute our initiatives to ensure top and bottom line growth.”