Dollar General maintains momentum

Chain boosts EPS guidance

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Surging profits and a 6.7% first-quarter same-store sales increase prompted Dollar General to raise its full-year profit forecast by 3 cents.

Dollar General shows no signs of slowing down this year as net sales increased 13% to $3.9 billion and net income increase 36% to $213 million. The 6.7% comp increase was driven by an increase in customer traffic and average transaction size, according to the company.

"Dollar General is starting off 2012 with strong performance in the first quarter due to excellent same-store sales growth of 6.7%, representing the fifth consecutive quarter of accelerating improvement," Dollar General chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling said. "We are pleased to raise our full-year financial outlook to now reflect adjusted [earnings per share] of $2.68 to $2.78. Our first quarter was strong, and we are pleased with our May sales performance."

The company had previously forecast full-year earnings in the range of $2.65 to $2.75.  "I believe we are positioned well to invest in the future of our business as we continue to redefine small-box retailing and reinforce Dollar General’s role as America’s general store," Dreiling said.

During the quarter, the company opened 128 new stores and remodeled or relocated 224 stores. In addition, a new distribution center in Alabama and a new leased distribution center in California began shipping merchandise to stores.

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