Pleasanton, Calif. Evidence that the discount category continues to perform in the downturn, Ross Stores reported Thursday that its net earnings for the first quarter rose to a record $91.4 million, compared with $79.5 million in the year-ago period.
Sales for the quarter grew 9% to $1.7 billion, with comp-store sales up 3% on top of a 3% gain in the prior year.
According to Michael Balmuth, vice chairman, president and CEO, the company’s balance sheet and cash flows remain healthy. Looking ahead, he stated, "While the external environment remains challenging, our much-better-than-expected results year-to-date reflect that consumers are continuing to respond very favorably to the compelling values we offer. As a result, we have increased our sales and earnings outlook for the second quarter and the back half of 2009."