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BJ’s, Others Report Earnings

Natick, Mass., BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. recorded fourth-quarter net income of $49.2 million, down 4.5% from the year-ago period. The figure includes $7.2 million in one-time charges related to a change in the retailer’s lease accounting. Sales increased 7% to $2.01 billion, supported by a 3.4% increase in same-club sales. For the year, BJ’s posted net income of $114.4 million, up 11.2% from the year before. Sales rose 10.2% to $7.2 billion on the strength of a 6% rise in same-club sales.

In other earnings news:

• Payless ShoeSource Inc. reported a net loss of $26.5 million in the fourth quarter of its 2004 fiscal year, compared with a net loss of $17.2 million in the same quarter the year before. The loss includes restructuring charges of $23.9 million before taxes. Sales fell 1.7% to $617.7 million in the quarter and same-store sales dipped 2.3%. For the full year, the footwear retailer posted a net loss of $2 million, vs. a $100,000 loss the year before. This year’s net loss includes $67.9 million in pre-tax restructuring charges. Sales were flat at $2.66 billion despite a 0.5% decline in same-store sales.

• United Retail Group posted fourth-quarter net income of $697,000, vs. a $4 million loss in the same quarter from the previous year. Net sales rose 6.4% to $107.9 million on the strength of 8% comps growth. For the full year, the retailer narrowed its loss to $10.5 million from $19.1 million the year before. Sales increased 0.8% to $399.3 million on same-store sales growth of 2%.

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