Memphis, Tenn. Fred's said Wednesday that its first-quarter profit slipped 4% even as sales climbed. The chain earned $8.2 million during the three-month period that ended on May 1. That compares with $8.6 million a year earlier.
Net revenue rose almost 3% to $471.6 million, up from $458.4 million last year. Same-store sales rose 2.2%.
Fred's has 670 stores around the country.
Bruce A. Efird, CEO of Fredâ€™s, said the company will continue to invest in its prototype stores and implement new merchandising layout in more than 200 stores this year.
â€śWith the passage of the new healthcare bill, we see both opportunities and challenges, and remain committed to growing our pharmacy business, both organically and through acquisitions,â€ť he said.