Fred's Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today reported sales for the four-week fiscal month of May, which ended May 26, 2012.
Fred's total sales for the month increased 6% to $152.1 million from $143.6 million in May 2011. Comparable store sales for the month rose 1.3% compared with an increase of 0.2% in the same period last year.
Fred's total sales for the first four months of fiscal 2012 increased 4% to $652.6 million compared with $628.0 million for the same period last year. On a comparable store basis, year-to-date sales increased 0.1% on top of an increase of 0.8% in the same period last year.
Commenting on the announcement, Bruce A. Efird, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased to report a solid start to our second fiscal quarter, with total and comparable sales both at the high end of expectations for May. As we discussed in our recent earnings conference call, we initiated several new product programs late in the first quarter, and these initiatives have begun to contribute to higher general merchandise sales. Additionally, our pharmacy department continued its strong performance, against the broader shift of brand to generic drugs. We are confident that our initiatives in general merchandise will lead to an improvement in comparable store sales going forward. Based on this expectation, along with the improved performance of our newer stores, we remain optimistic about the momentum developing in our business for the second quarter and the remainder of the year."During May, Fred's opened one new store. Fred's Inc. operates 708 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.