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Foot Locker profit tops expectations on sales growth in its 'most profitable quarter ever'


New York - Foot Locker Inc. reported a better-than-expected 14% increase in profit in its first quarter amid continuing sales growth.

"We have hit the ground running in 2015, producing the most profitable quarter in our history," saidRichard Johnson, president and CEO. "Results in the first quarter demonstrate that we remain on the right track, with strong performances across our channels, geographies, banners, and categories.Our core business improved and we made progress on each of our growth pillars, a team accomplishment of which we are all very proud."

The company posted earnings of $184 million for the quarter ended May 2, up from $162 million last year. Sales increased 2.6% to $1.92 billion. Same-store sales increased 7.8%.

The retailer’s gross margin rate improved to 35% of sales from 34.6% a year ago, while the selling, general, and administrative expense rate improved to 18% of sales from 19%.

"The team at Foot Locker continued to execute efficiently during the quarter, both operationally and financially," said Lauren Peters, executive VP and CFO. "Driven by solid performance on the top line that flowed effectively to the bottom line, we delivered results which surpassed our guidance at the start of the year.

As of May 2, 2015, Foot Locker operated 3,419 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.In addition, 55 franchised Foot Locker stores were operating in the Middle East and South Korea, as well as 27 franchised Runners Point and Sidestep stores in Germany and Switzerland.

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