For stores in the identical store base, gross profit improved 79 basis points to 36.7% of sales, direct store expenses increased one basis point to 25.3% of sales, and store contribution improved 78 basis points to 11.4% of sales .
G&A expenses improved eight basis points to 3.1% of sales due primarily to leverage in wages at the Company's regional and global offices.
During the quarter, the Company produced $228 million in cash flow from operations and invested $113 million in capital expenditures, of which $69 million related to new stores. This resulted in free cash flow of $115 million. In addition, the Company paid $37 million in quarterly dividends to shareholders and repurchased $25 million of its common stock. The Company ended the quarter with total cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, and investments of approximately $1.5 billion. Total debt (capital lease obligations) was $27 million.
Additional information on the quarter for comparable stores and all stores is provided in the following table.
|Comparable Stores||Comps||ROIC*||# of Stores||Average Size||Total Square Feet|
|Over 15 years old (19 years old, s.f. weighted)||5.8%||140%||84||28,300||2,375,200|
|Between 11 and 15 years old||6.9%||96%||69||33,000||2,274,900|
|Between eight and 11 years old||5.8%||103%||46||38,200||1,758,400|
|Between five and eight years old||7.9%||53%||53||54,000||2,863,800|
|Between two and five years old||9.3%||31%||51||46,100||2,351,000|
|Less than two years old (including four relocations)||17.2%||19%||25||37,500||937,900|
|All comparable stores (9.5 years old, s.f. weighted)||7.5%||64%||328||38,300||12,561,300|
|All stores (9.0 years old, s.f. weighted)||58%||351||38,000||13,355,000|
|*Defined as annualized store-level income after taxes divided by average invested capital; does not reflect any as-if effect of capitalizing operating leases|