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BJ’s Q4 Profit Up 5%


Natick, Mass. BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. on Wednesday reported better-than-expected results with the news that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose 5% partly on favorable state income tax audit settlements.

Earnings for the quarter ended Feb. 2 climbed to $52.7 million, from $50.2 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue grew 3% to $2.56 billion from $2.48 billion. Same-store sales increased 1.7%. Excluding gas, same-club sales rose 6.4%.

BJ's said full-year net income increased 10% to $134.6 million, from $122.9 million in the previous year.

The company said departments with the strongest sales increases compared to last year included breakfast foods; candy; computer hardware and software; dairy; deli; frozen foods; health-and-beauty aids; household chemicals; meat; paper; pet foods; prepared foods; produce; small appliances; snacks; televisions; and video games. Weaker departments vs. last year included apparel, domestics, jewelry, prerecorded video and sporting goods.

The nation's third largest warehouse club also predicted 2009 earnings within range of analysts' estimates.

Annual sales improved to $10.03 billion from $9.01 billion, while same-store sales climbed 9.4% on increased gas sales. Merchandise same-store sales grew 6.4%.

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