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Small steps toward growth for Big Lots


Big Lots continued to see positive results from the steps it has taken to improve its business in the first quarter, with the retailer posting increases in profit and sales.

Same store sales rose by 1.6% in the first quarter ended May 2, reflecting better performance in its remaining stores, and income from continuing operations jumped by 13% to $32.3 million, producing earnings of $0.60 per share, beating estimates by a penny.

“I'm pleased with our first quarter sales results,” said David Campisi, CEO and president of Big Lots. "After a difficult start to the quarter and harsh weather conditions in February, sales trends improved in March and April. Jennifer continues to respond positively to our strategic merchandising changes and improved assortments focused on quality, brands, fashion, and value."

For full fiscal 2015, Big Lots gave a modest upgrade to its previous guidance, raising the lower end of its initial earnings estimate by a nickel per share to a range of $2.80 to $2.90. The retailer believes overall revenue will remain close to unchanged for the year, due largely to the decline in store counts, but it still expects low single-digit percentage growth in comparable-store sales.

Big Lots operates more than 1,500 stores in 48 states.

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