Lowe's, a home improvement retailer, has reported a 35 percent jump in third-quarter profits. The chain, based in Wilkesboro, NC, U.S., also raised its forecasts for fourth-quarter and full-year earnings. Lowe's benefited in the most recent quarter from its expansion into the affluent north-eastern U.S. The company plans to open more than 60 stores in New Jersey and New York in the U.S. in the next 5 years.
Low interest rates and mortgage refinancing activity, as well as reduced travel and entertainment spending, have given consumers more money to spend on homes. Robert Tillman, Lowe's chairman, said the group's results demonstrated the "continued strength of the home improvement consumer in an otherwise uncertain economic environment. Demographic and societal trends continue to provide longer-term opportunity for our company as Americans increase their focus on the comforts of home."
Third-quarter net income rose from U.S. $250 million to $339 million, with earnings per share up from $0.32 to $0.43.
Total sales increased 18 percent to $6.41 billion, with same-store sales up 4.1 percent.
Lowe's said it expected to earn $0.33 a share in the fourth quarter ending Jan. 31, with total sales up 16-17 percent and same-store sales up 2-4 percent. For the full year, it expected total sales to increase about 20 percent, with same-store sales up 5 percent. (Financial Times)
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