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Dillard's turns profit in Q1


Little Rock, Ark. Despite a tight economy and frugal shoppers, Dillard’s reported Friday that its net income jumped to $7.7 million for the first quarter ended May 2, up from $2.7 million for the same period a year ago. The figure included a pretax gain of $1.5 million related to the repurchase of certain unsecured notes.

The chain’s net sales slipped slightly to almost $1.5 billion, compared to approximately $1.7 billion for the first fiscal quarter in 2008. Similarly, same-store sales declined 13%.

“Our aggressive efforts with regard to inventory management, expense reduction and cash conservation clearly benefited us during the quarter,” said the chain’s CEO William Dillard II. “We will continue to maintain our conservative fiscal posture while focusing on further improving our merchandise assortments to position Dillard’s well for the long term.”

Dillard’s maintains a $1.2 billion revolving credit facility with J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, a loan set to expire on Dec. 12, 2012. As of May 2, 2009, the company reported short-term borrowings of $175 million, as well as outstanding letters of credit totaling $91.3 million under the revolving credit facility.

During the 13-week period, Dillard’s announced the upcoming closure of its Tullahoma, Tenn.-based location, which it expects to close during the second quarter of 2009. Dillard's said four other locations will close this year, and will continue to shutter under-performing stores.

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