Profits surge at Dollar General

Chain plans to open 625 new stores this year

GOODLETSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General's quarterly profit surged 33% to a record $299 million, from $226 million in the prior year.

Sales increased 20.1% to $4.19 billion, compared with $3.49 billion in the year-ago period. Same-store sales rose 6.5%.

For the full year, profit rose 26% to $819 million, from $649 million in 2010. Sales surged 13.6% to $14.8 billion, from $13 billion last year. Same-store sales rose 6%.

After opening 625 stores in 2011, Dollar General said Thursday it plans to open another 625 units in 2012, which will include 40 of its Dollar General Market stores and 80 new market debuts. About 550 stores are slated for remodel or relocation during the upcoming year.

“For Dollar General, 2011 was another exceptional year,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO. “We executed on our operating priorities and delivered strong financial performance, while, at the same time, we were able to make significant investments which, I believe, will enable us to continue to achieve outstanding results.”

For the 52-week 2012 fiscal year, the company expects total sales to increase 8% to 9% over the 53-week 2011 fiscal year, or 10% to 11% on a comparable 52-week basis. Same-store sales, based on a comparable 52-week period, are expected to increase 3% to 5%. Operating profit for 2012 is expected to be between $1.60 and $1.65 billion.

Diluted EPS for the 52-week fiscal year is expected to be approximately $2.65 to $2.75.

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