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Fred's Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Fiscal Year 2012 Results

Fred's, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRED) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended February 2, 2013.

For the fourth quarter ended February 2, 2013, Fred’s net income totaled $6.6 million or $0.18 per diluted share compared with net income of $9.8 million or $0.26 per diluted share in the fourth quarter ended January 28, 2012. For fiscal year 2012, Fred's net income totaled $29.6 million or $0.81 per diluted share compared with $33.4 million or $0.87 per diluted share in the prior year. Net income for 2012 included approximately $4.2 million or $0.12 per diluted share related to a state income tax settlement, as well as adjusting other tax-related assumptions and estimates.

Fred's total sales for the 14-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 increased 7% to $533.4 million from $497.6 million for the same period last year. Comparable store sales for the quarter increased 4.8%. Fred's total sales for 53-week fiscal 2012 increased 4% to $1.955 billion from $1.879 billion for the same period last year. Comparable store sales for fiscal year 2012 increased 1.1%.

To adjust these results for 13- and 52-week periods, the Company eliminated from 2012 the week ended February 2, 2013. Excluding the effect of the extra week in the current year, fourth quarter comparable store sales decreased 2.8% from the year-earlier period. Excluding the effect of the extra week in the current year, fiscal 2012 comparable store sales for the year decreased 1.4% from the year-earlier period.

Commenting on the results, Bruce A. Efird, Chief Executive Officer, said, "The fourth quarter brought to a close a challenging year in 2012 as our customers remained under economic pressures and our operating costs trended higher than forecast. We were disappointed by the results, but now move forward with optimism about future opportunities and embark on a three-year reconfiguration plan designed to help us regain the momentum we experienced in the prior three years in driving toward our goal of increasing our operating margin to 4%.

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