New York City -- Dollar General Corp. reported Tuesday that its fourth quarter profit more than doubled over last year, boosted by increasing sales and traffic. The discounter generated a higher-than-expected profit of $222.5 million for the quarter ended Jan. 28, up from $87.2 million in the year-ago period. The company also gave a full-year forecast that topped analysts’ estimates.
Sales increased 9.4% to $3.49 billion, and same-store sales rose 3.8%.
Dollar General confirmed it will open about 625 new stores and remodel or relocate 550 locations in 2011. Capital expenditures are expected to range from $550 million to $600 million. Approximately 55% of capital spending is for investment in store growth and development, including new stores, remodels, relocations and purchases of existing store locations
For the full year, Dollar General generated $13.04 billion in sales, up 10.5% over 2009, and an operating profit of $1.27 billion, a 34% increase over 2009.
“Dollar General had a great year in 2010,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO. “While weather impacted our sales momentum in the second half of the fourth quarter, we effectively balanced our sales, delivering gross margin expansion, expense leverage and excellent financial results.”
The chain is forecasting total sales to increase another 11% to 13% in 2011.