Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED) today reported sales for the five-week fiscal month of March, which ended March 31, 2012.
Fred's total sales for the month increased 3% to $194.0 million from $188.9 million in March 2011. Comparable store sales for the month were flat versus an increase of 0.7% in the same period last year.
Fred's total sales for the first two months of fiscal 2012 increased 3% to $352.9 million compared with $342.6 million for the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales decreased 0.4% versus a 0.7% increase for the year-earlier period.
Commenting on the announcement, Bruce A. Efird, Chief Executive Officer, said, "March was a solid month, meeting the sales and financial forecast that we expressed in our recent year-end conference call. As one would expect with warming weather, customers focused on seasonal product areas, and our Core 5 departments of Pet, Household Supplies, and Pharmacy continued to do well. As we also recently noted, sales in our newer stores and pharmacies continued to perform ahead of our expectations in March. Our real estate team remains confident in its ability to hit our accelerated pace for new store openings this year."Fred's Inc. operates 701 discount general merchandise stores, including 21 franchised Fred's stores, in the southeastern United States. For more information about the Company, visit Fred's Website at www.fredsinc.com. Comments in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic trends, changes in consumer demand or purchase patterns, delays or interruptions in the flow of merchandise between the Company's distribution centers and its stores or between the Company's suppliers and same, a disruption in the Company's data processing services, costs and delays in acquiring or developing new store sites, and other contingencies discussed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Fred's undertakes no obligation to release revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unforeseen events, except as required to be reported under the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.